Though he didn’t support Obamacare, Díaz de la Portilla has supported controversial health care plans in the past – even mandatory ones.
During Díaz de la Portilla’s years in the Senate, Governor Charlie Crist proposed Cover Florida, a mandatory health insurance plan that pushed health insurance for all Floridians whether or not they could afford it.
Crist boosted his political capital by pushing through the proposals. The new health care plan allows private insurers to join the state program "Cover Florida" in offering low-cost, no-frills coverage to uninsured Floridians ages 19 to 64.
Upon passage of the Senate version of Cover Florida, it was reported that the House was going to be prescient and independently weigh the positives and negatives of this bill. One of the ideas floated by House members was an extra layer of bureaucracy that would oversee vendor contracts for services provided to individuals and small businesses, as well as supporting Crist's proposals.
But victory is a long way off. As questions linger about whether Crist's plan will actually help the 20 percent of the population without coverage, he faces resistance from the House, which has its own plan.
The House plan (HB 7081) includes Crist's approach but also calls for creating a state corporation with a 15-member oversight board to contract with vendors to offer health care options for individuals and small businesses.
St. Petersburg Times, 4/17/08
Díaz de la Portilla voted for this bill in 2008.
SB 2534, Vote #3, 5/2/08, Passed 40-0, Díaz de la Portilla – ‘Yea’
Creates the Cover Florida Health Access Program, which is designed to provide affordable health care options for uninsured residents of Florida between the ages of 19-64 who meet certain other criteria. A Cover Florida plan entity must provide noncatastrophic coverage and may provide catastrophic coverage, supplemental insurance, prepaid health clinics, and discount medical plan product options to enrollees.
House Message Summary, 5/2/08
Díaz de la Portilla’s support for socialized medicine runs deeper than one vote for Cover Florida. In 2004, Díaz de la Portilla voted for legislation that expanded the state’s KidCare program, a form of socialized healthcare that paid for health insurance when poor parents couldn’t afford it.
SB28A, Vote #7, 12/16/04, Passed 39-0, Díaz de la Portilla – ‘Yea’
At the behest of two South Florida legislators -- House Democratic Leader Chris Smith, D-Fort Lauderdale, and Rep. Adam Hasner, R-Delray Beach -- the Legislature this week is also expected to ease the qualification procedure for KidCare, the state health insurance plan for children whose parents make too much money to qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford private insurance.