Tallahassee, Fla. — On Tuesday, Mayor Andrew Gillum proposed a constitutionalamendment declaring that affordable healthcare is a fundamental right of all Floridians.
The amendment would go before Florida’s voters statewide, and would direct the Florida Legislature to make securing Floridians’ right to healthcare a top priority. Access to affordable healthcare for 2 million Floridians is threatened by President Trump’s healthcare bill, and 800,000 more Floridians are suffering from Governor Scott’s failure to expand Medicaid.
Gillum has stood out from the Democratic field with a series of bold, progressive policies on healthcare. Last week, he proposed a state law to protect women’s access to no-cost contraception in Florida. Previously, Gillum outlined plans to pass and sign the nation’s strongest legislation to ensure coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, and to ban insurers from charging women more than men for coverage.
“It’s time for Florida to finally enshrine healthcare as a right for all. There is a public trust for the government to care for its citizens, and our state can no longer be ambiguous about that moral obligation. When healthcare is under attack in Washington, we’re going to lean into the challenge of healthcare in the Sunshine State and live our values,” said Mayor Andrew Gillum.
“Access to affordable healthcare should be a right, period,” said Dr. Michael Katin, a radiation oncologist, President of the Association of Freestanding Radiation Oncology Centers, and past President of the Lee and Charlotte County chapters of the American Cancer Society. “The bill currently in Congress would threaten my patients’ health and erect barriers to care. Gillum’s proposed amendment may be the only way to protect the access to affordable care that people need.”
“Every day, I see patients who are terrified of losing their health coverage and their care, because of politics,” said Dr. Shrearest Crenshaw, a family medicine physician in Parkland. “We guarantee the right to speak, to worship, and to the courts. As a physician, I believe it equally important that our Constitution guarantee the right to affordable healthcare that Floridians deserve.”
The draft text of the proposed constitutional amendment reads as follows: