Hispanic Health Advocates Push for Votes

Jul 24, 2014

Advocates for health insurance are calling on Hispanics to get insured under the Affordable Care Act. And they're asking those same people to vote against lawmakers who oppose Obamacare.

An advocate dressed as Uncle Sam presents a check for uninsured Floridians. Advocates are urging state lawmakers to accept the money and expand coverage.
Credit Amy Green / WMFE

Latino community leaders in Central Florida say more than 200,000 Hispanic Floridians are uninsured. They're urging state lawmakers to accept federal funding and expand health care for all Floridians.

Josephine Mercado of Hispanic Health Initiatives called it a human rights issue.

"It is an injustice to see and hear the stories you have heard here today, people who have worked all their lives and now are left out in the cold because they are sick and poor," she said.

Betsy Franceshini, a Florida-based representative of the Puerto Rican government, says many uninsured Hispanics work in industries like hospitality.

"Our vote is the strongest element that we have in our democracy. So we are encouraging people to go out and vote and choose legislators who are going to help and support these needing families."

The advocates are planning town hall meetings on the issue next month in Orange and Osceola counties. They’re also urging Hispanics to register to vote.

The next open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act begins Nov. 15.