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coverage gap

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You don't see many stories about people stuck in the "family glitch" or who have fallen in the "coverage gap." But millions remain left out of the ACA's thwarted dream of universal coverage — and their stories matter.
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This story was produced with the USC Center For Health Journalism's National Fellowship and Kaiser Health News.
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Despite the numbers of Floridians stranded in a health policy no man’s land – earning too much for Medicaid but not enough for subsidies – the “coverage gap” was getting little attention from policymakers and media. A reporter at the Miami Herald set out to change that, by telling their stories.

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Why won’t Florida adopt Medicaid expansion? The Florida Senate has proposed a plan, but House leaders and Gov. Rick Scott oppose any Medicaid expansion because they say they don’t trust the federal government to keep its promise to pay for covering more Floridians.

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Without Medicaid expansion, South Florida’s low-income residents have found out the hard way that the healthcare safety net designed to catch people before they hit bottom is no substitute for insurance.

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Miami-Dade County does not have the money to cover the potential loss of $200 million a year in federal funding that helps Jackson Health System, the county’s public hospital network, provide medical care for the uninsured and Medicaid patients, Mayor Carlos Gimenez said Tuesday.

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With legislators seemingly deadlocked on Medicaid expansion in Florida, residents in the “coverage gap” are stitching together their medical care through personal ingenuity, half doses of medicines and low-cost clinics. It’s exhausting work, especially when you’re sick.

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