"As the Associated Press reported today, GOP officials in the state have fought the ACA “at every turn,” blocking navigators from helping consumers county health departments, prohibiting any public resources to reaching out to the state’s 3.5 million uninsured, refusing to create an exchange, rejecting Medicaid expansion, and even filing suit to destroy the law. But as the open-enrollment period wraps up, the Sunshine State “has emerged as a tale of what went right with President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul,” in spite of Republican obstructionism.
More than 440,000 Florida residents had been enrolled through the federal marketplace through the end of February, putting Florida on pace to exceed the federal government’s initial projections by the time enrollment closes March 31. The numbers are impressive for a state where Republicans control the governor’s mansion and both houses of the Legislature. By comparison, Republican-leaning Texas has enrolled 295,000 through the federal site, even though its population is about a third larger than Florida’s. Florida’s success is due partly to infrastructure created in the swing state by Democratic-affiliated groups during the last three presidential elections, along with continued investment by the Obama administration and nonprofit advocacy groups in the diverse state that will likely be competitive in November’s midterm election.
This is clearly evidence of progress on a human level – the point of the endeavor, obviously, is to provide Americans and their families with access to affordable medical care – but the politics will matter, too."