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Broward County stands up to Florida governor, welcomes navigators to county-owned buildings

Today Broward County Mayor Kristin Jacobs and the Broward County Commission passed a motion (8-1) directing the county to make county facilities available to organizations sharing information about the Affordable Care Act. including buildings leased by the Florida Department of Health. 

The action stands in stark contrast to Florida Governor Rick Scott’s ban on allowing trained workers, referred to as navigators, inside state department of health buildings. 

“The Governor can do and say as he wants, but we also have something to say here in Broward County. The people of Broward County should have access to healthcare and we are capable of making informed decisions about our own healthcare options, we can make up our own minds,” said Mayor Jacobs.

An estimated 392,000 people in Broward County are uninsured or under-insured.  

“Today we directed the county to make county facilities available to organizations and individuals sharing information about the ACA, such as Navigators, Certified Application Counselors, and champions of coverage.” 

Mayor Jacobs support was echoed by other Commissioners. 

“It’s important that information is available to help people through the system and this start snext Tuesday,” noted Commissioner Sue Gunzburger who co-sponsored the resolution.  

“It's not a cost to the county and it's something that helps our residents,” said Commissioner Martin David Kiar. 

“The fight was picked a long time ago, and it's about time that we stood up and said:  no, we're going to stand up for what's right for our community, and today this item does that,” said Vice Mayor Barbara Sharief in support. 

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“When I was up in Tallahassee, I remember hearing over and over about individual responsibility.  If we want the citizens of Broward County to be responsible and to make a good decision on their health care, then let's provide them the information.  Let them make the decision on what's best for their families. It’s our duty,” said Commissioner Tim Ryan, who is a former Florida Representative. 

“My district has some of the poorest of the poor, who previously had no health care and existed in almost a no man's land when it came to health care. So having this is very important, and what we're doing here is not fighting in my mind.  We're doing what we need to do to,” said Commissioner Dale V.C. Holness. 

In addition to allowing access to county owned buildings, health information about the Affordable Care Act will be distributed at Broward libraries and in a variety of venues already assisting residents with health information.  Enrollment in the Healthcare Insurance Marketplace begins on October 1.

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