The Rev. Wayne Robinson, who retired as minister of All Faiths Unitarian in Fort Myers last year, has sent members of the Legislature letters calling on them to provide health coverage to Floridians who are too poor to qualify for Healthcare.gov's subsidized plans. He is also urging other clergy members in Florida to join the movement.
Last session the state senate passed a plan, but the House blocked it. Bills have been submitted to renew the effort, but there has been little to suggest it will happen.
Robinson cites the Bible, Matthew 25:35-36, in which Jesus urged the disciples to help the poor. The verse says: “I was hungry and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink; I was a foreigner and you offered me hospitality; I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you visited me; I was in prison and you came to see me.”
This is part of the letter Robinson sent to members of the House and shared with Health News Florida:
"The House where you serve is being given a second chance. I mean of course the opportunity to reverse last Spring’s refusal by the majority members to pass the Medicaid Expansion to the Affordable Health Care Act. This opportunity means:
- "You can do the right thing for the poorest of the poor.
- "You’re helping those who can’t afford routine physician visits, who wait until they’re sick, sick, sick and have to be rushed to the Emergency Room -- the most expensive medical care available.
- "Enacting this expansion will provide $5 billion in the first year for workers, physicians, patients, supply houses – jobs! jobs! jobs! Overall, $50 billion in ten years guaranteed by the Federal Government, which has never ever defaulted on even one payment to Social Security, Medicare, or Veterans.
- "Being without health insurance in America is a dreadful experience. That shouldn’t be so in the richest, most powerful nation in the world. And can you believe that Florida is second only to Texas with the most uninsured?! You can significantly help by reversing what happened last Spring."
Rev. Robinson now has an online ministry, DrWaynesMinistries.org.