Amendment Ballot Initiative to Expand Medicaid in Florida

In a push for an amendment ballot initiative to expand Medicaid in Florida, political organizer Ashley Green urged Democrats to become actively involved.

“I want you to leave here knowing how to take action,” Green told members of the Democratic Women’s Club of Indian River County at the club’s recent meeting. Advocates are seeking to collect 100,000 verified petitions signed by Florida registered voters by the end of February. 

Green is an Atlanta native who has spent the past few years invested in growing power across Florida. In 2018, she served as the Central Florida regional organizer for Second Chances, the successful campaign dedicated to restoring voting rights to 1.4 million ex-felons in the state.

For the past nine years Florida has turned down enough federal money to provide health insurance to more than 700,000 Floridians, Green said. About $5 billion has been lost to the state since the Affordable Care Act was enacted due to Florida’s failure to expand Medicaid, she added. 

Passage of the proposed amendment would codify what is in the Affordable Care Act, making Florida eligible for additional federal funds.

Organizers believe that to expand Medicaid the amendment process is the most likely to succeed. Political candidates can be polarizing, Green explained, but ballot initiatives encourage people to vote according to their values. 

Tallahassee “doesn’t have to be the center of gravity,” she said. 

The 100,000 collected petitions will be sent to the Florida Supreme Court for review. If the amendment receives the court’s approval, a total of one million signatures will be sought.

“This grassroots effort is very much possible,” Green said.

For more information about the petition drive, contact the Democrats of Indian River at 772-226-5267.