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By Jenny Goldsberry
Amidst Hurricane Ida raging in the Gulf of Mexico, MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan admitted he would not shelter from it in with unvaccinated Floridians. Hasan invited Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL) on his show Sunday to ask him how he makes such “a tough sell.”
“As a public official, I’d imagine one of the biggest challenges when a storm approaches is convincing folks that they are better off evacuating, leaving, going to a shelter even, than riding out a storm,” Hasan said. “And yet, during COVID, with Florida’s vaccination rates where they are, that’s got to be a tough sell. I’m not sure I would want my family in a shelter with an unknown number of unvaccinated people right now.”
“Well no kidding Mehdi,” Crist said. “And the fact of the matter is the hospitals in Florida are overwhelmed. We’re number one in the country in hospitalizations, in cases, and sadly in deaths.”
Meanwhile, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis pleaded with Floridians to get the vaccine during a press conference last month. “They are reducing mortality,” DeSantis said. “So we’re proud in Florida that we put seniors first on that list because they were the most vulnerable,” the governor said. “We have 85 percent of our seniors that are vaccinated and about 75 percent of folks over the age of 50.”
Meanwhile DeSantis has kept his word that Florida got it right and the lockdown states got it wrong. “We have no mandate,” he said. “We’ve provided information to people and we’ve been very honest about any data that comes out.”
However Crist, who was also Governor for Florida from 2007-2011, says that DeSantis got it wrong, nicknaming him “wRONg DeSantis.” In a tweet, he accused the current governor of ignoring experts and science. Crist also suggested that DeSantis could do more to promote vaccines, as he hasn’t posted on social media about them.
You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.
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CA to provide all low-income illegal immigrants health care at a cost of ‘$2.7 billion a year’
On Thursday, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a $307.9 billion operating budget “that pledges to make all low-income adults eligible for the state’s Medicaid program by 2024 regardless of their immigration status” reports the Associated Press.
The guarantee of free health care for low-income immigrants here illegally, is a “move that will provide coverage for an additional 764,000 people at an eventual cost of about $2.7 billion a year” adds the AP.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a health care nonprofit, people living in the country illegally in 2020 accounted for roughly 7% of the population nationwide, or about 22.1 million people. The border crisis and number of migrants entering the United States illegally has skyrocketed to historic levels since 2020 when President Joe Biden took office.
Medicaid nationwide is the current combination of federal and state governments assisting Americans and low-income adults and children to receive free health care, but the federal government does not cover those living here illegally.
“Some states, including California, have used their own tax dollars to cover a portion of health care expenses for some low-income immigrants” reports the AP. “Now, California wants to be the first to do that for everyone.”
“This will represent the biggest expansion of coverage in the nation since the start of the Affordable Care Act in 2014,” said Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, a statewide consumer health care advocacy group. “In California we recognize (that) everybody benefits when everyone is covered.”
While 92% of Californians currently have some form of health insurance, “that will change once this budget is fully implemented, as adults living in the country illegally make up one of the largest groups of people without insurance in the state” the AP concludes.
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