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Central Florida Unions Press Kosmas to Vote Yes

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As submitted to the Huffington Post

by Jerry Waxman

March 19. 25 Central Florida organizations consisting mostly of labor unions and union affiliated groups wrote an open letter to Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (D. FL Dist. 24) this morning urging her to vote yes on the health care bill currently being considered in the House of Representatives. Kosmas, whose district includes Volusia County and parts of Brevard and Orange as well, voted no the last time and incurred the wrath of many of these same unions. She is now going to get another chance. Below is the full text of the letter with the names of the signers:



An Open Letter to Representative Kosmas from 25 Central Florida Organizations

Representative Kosmas,

Now is the time to pass comprehensive health care reform.   We’re counting on You!

Too many Florida families have faced financial ruin because of skyrocketing health care costs, and even more are just one medical emergency away from disaster.  In 2008, the 24th Congressional District of Florida saw 1,400 health care-related bankruptcies—that’s 1,400 families who can’t even choose between paying for prescription drugs and buying food anymore, because they can’t afford either.  Also, in your district, 11,700 seniors every year are forced to pay the full cost of their prescription drugs, and many of them can’t afford it.  Florida’s families and seniors can’t wait for reform any longer.

Right now insurance companies routinely deny coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions.  Ten percent of Florida residents have diabetes and 28 percent have high blood pressure – two conditions insurance companies can cite to reject coverage.  Our family members and neighbors continue to suffer at the hands of insurance companies that deny coverage due to pre-existing conditions and cancel coverage if people file a claim.  A ‘Yes’ vote on reform puts an end to this discriminatory practice.  

Working families are facing another year of big health premium increases that will threaten more jobs and family health benefits.  Your constituents need relief that only comprehensive federal health reform can provide.  If nothing is done, more and more of those with insurance, won’t be able to afford to use their coverage.

We dare not lose this opportunity for comprehensive health care reform.  Floridians know that it’s time to fix the system, we’re counting on you to vote ‘Yes’ on Health Care reform.

In Unity,

Stacy Stepanovich, President
Volusia/Flagler AFL-CIO

Mike Williams, President
Florida AFL-CIO

Steve Williams, Business Manager
IBEW Local Union 756

Claudie Pouncey, President
Space Coast AFL-CIO

Andrew Spar, President
Volusia Teachers Organization

Matty Rose, President
Florida State Association of Letter Carriers

Laura Goodhue, Executive Director
Florida CHAIN

Ed Chambers, President
UFCW Local 1625

Mark Ferrulo, Executive Director
Progress Florida

Tom Wenz, President
AFSCME Local 850

Gary Cotton, President
CWA Local 3102

Elizabeth Albert
Volusia Teachers Organization

Bill Albert
IBEW 756

Kathleen Aterno
Clean Water Action

Tony Fransetta
Florida Alliance for Retired Americans

Brad Ashwell
Florida Public Interest Research Group

Denise Diaz
Central Florida Jobs With Justice

CJ Allen
Volusia Teachers Organization

Suzy Smith
Volusia Teachers Organization

William Moore
New Smyrna Beach Organize Now

Lu-Anne Blankenship
Volusia Education Support Association  

Brett Mirsky, Business Manager
UA Local 295

Marc Schwartz, Assistant Business Rep.
IATSE Local 631

Harry Brown, Business Manager
IBEW Local 606

Jennifer Kenny
Alliance for Retired Americans

The vote in the House is thought to be taking place on Sunday.


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