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Saturday, April 13, 2024
Opinions generic
Opinions generic

The fight for Florida’s United States Senate seat is not just a political race; its outcome is deeply personal to me. This past summer, my mom faced a health scare marked with uncertainty, all while navigating a healthcare system rife with economic barriers. Like millions of Floridians, the Affordable Care Act saved us from crippling medical bills. 

Now, as Sen. Rick Scott campaigns on a platform to repeal the ACA, I cannot sit idly by. My family’s story, like countless Floridians, demonstrates the importance of protecting and expanding affordable healthcare — a mission Debbie Mucarsel-Powell champions. This is why I am working for her campaign and why I wholeheartedly support Debbie for Senate.  

When my mom began experiencing pain in her jaw, we thought she just needed a dentist. Once that pain grew severe and she began to have trouble standing up straight, we realized we had a bigger problem on our hands. For two weeks my mom stayed in the hospital while they did test after test. All the while, she was in unbearable pain. Finally, they performed a surgery that solved some of the problem and referred her to a specialist she will need to see for the foreseeable future.

As you can imagine, an ER trip, two weeks in the hospital, a surgery and a specialist doctor racks up quite the bill. A medical bill like that could be crippling. Thankfully, we have health insurance — thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

Before the Affordable Care Act was created, we would have been in a much more difficult position. You see, my mom has a pre-existing condition, and prior to the passage of the ACA, insurance providers were legally allowed to deny coverage to those with pre-existing health conditions. The Affordable Care Act reformed the private insurance market, making it more affordable and easier to obtain. It has reduced the number of uninsured Americans from 16%to 7.7%today.

Scott plans to take away mine and 4 million other Floridians’ healthcare. He wrote the plan to sunset The Affordable Care Act, Medicare, and Medicaid. Scott has quite the history with Medicare. During his tenure as the CEO of healthcare company Columbia/HCA, the company pleaded guilty and paid $1.7 billion in fines for what was at the time the largest healthcare fraud case in U.S. history.

In contrast, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell sponsored legislation in the House to expand Medicare and reduce the price of medication. During her time as associate dean at Florida International University Medical School, she worked hard to expand healthcare access to thousands of Floridians. She is running on a platform to protect and expand affordable healthcare, including the Affordable Care Act and Medicare, as well as reduce the price of medication.

Debbie Mucarsel-Powell is what Florida needs. She is what my family needs. I urge you to vote for her for Senate this upcoming November.

Ashley Mason is a UF political science graduate student and digital organizing intern for Debbie for Florida. 

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