SEIU and Healthcare Activists Target “Coverage Gap” Voters in Republican Districts



Date: Friday, April 11, 2014

Contact: Rebecca Wakefield,, 305 804-7051

SEIU and Healthcare Activists Target “Coverage Gap” Voters in Republican Districts

Tallahassee, FL – Utterly appalled by the Florida Legislature’s refusal to expand healthcare to eligible residents in their districts, SEIU Florida and its allies are reaching out directly to voters who’ve been screwed out of healthcare coverage by their representative’s refusal to act.

As legislators return to their home districts during the Legislature’s Easter break, activists will be knocking on doors and making phone calls to a list of thousands unable to get coverage. This weekend’s grassroots efforts will take place in the districts of representatives Manny Diaz, Jr. (R- 103), Erik Fresen (R-114), Rep. Bill Hager (R-89) and Kathleen Peters (R-69).

“So far the debate about this has been about the impact on people statewide,” said Martha Baker, RN, vice-president of SEIU Florida and president of SEIU Local 1991 in Miami. “It’s time to bring this issue right down into each neighborhood, so people understand exactly what they and their friends, family and neighbors are losing because their elected representative has chosen politics over people. In one of the largest states in the richest country in the world, this is unconscionable.”

The list of roughly 720,000 people in the coverage gap is broken up into each Florida House district. It was generated using publicly available commercial and census data to conservatively estimate the number of people in each district who are uninsured based on a formula that has proven highly reliable in field testing.

In Miami, Rep. Fresen’s district holds 7,577 residents in the coverage gap, while Rep. Diaz’s district includes 11,334 people who could be covered through Medicaid expansion. In Palm Beach, Rep. Hager’s legacy of the uninsured totals 6,787 people, while in Rep. Peters’ district, 4,644 residents have been short-changed by the politics in Tallahassee.

A complete list of every House district in the state is available on request to This activity offers a chance to interview average voters who are uninsured because of Florida’s inaction.

***Media interested in covering the canvassing efforts should RSVP directly to the contacts in Miami-Dade, Palm Beach or Pinellas counties.

WHAT: Healthcare activists will canvass voters identified as being in the Medicaid coverage gap in Republican districts.

WHERE: Locations will vary within district. See contact for each region below for precise location or to schedule a ride-along.

WHEN: Saturday, April 12

9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Pinellas)

2 p.m. to 6 p.m. (Miami)

3 p.m. to 7 p.m. (Palm Beach)

MIAMI: Contact Julio Diaz, 305-735-9799,

PALM BEACH: Contact Christella Dorval, 305-527-3893,

PINELLAS: Contact Kofi Hunt, 727-643-5435,


SEIU Florida represents over 55,000 active and retired healthcare professionals, public employees, and property service workers in the state of Florida. SEIU members provide vital public services in Florida’s hospitals, nursing homes, public schools, community colleges, municipal and county governments, malls, and universities. With over 2.1 million members, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in North America.


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