|By Nick Madigan, The Miami Herald|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Although Cardenas initially qualified for
She tried applying for insurance under the Affordable Care Act. That's when Cardenas, who owns a small house cleaning business, learned her income was too low to qualify for financial aid to buy a plan on the exchange -- and
"I just choked down the tears," said Cardenas, 48, who grew up in
Cardenas is one of about 800,000 Floridians who are stuck in the so-called "coverage gap," in which they earn too much to qualify for
Under the ACA,
Working poor make up a large number of those who fall into the coverage gap.
"Most of the people who would be helped are working in jobs that are the backbone of the
As part of their advocacy efforts, Mahan and several colleagues released the findings of a study showing that more than half of
About 23 percent of people in the gap are considered unemployed, and another 26 percent are classified as "not in the workforce," including people with disabilities, students, non-working spouses, and people who have left the workforce.
Fuentes referred to a finding in the study to the effect that if
"Closing the coverage gap is not only the smart thing to do," Fuentes said. "It's the right thing to do."
In 2012, the
Political opposition to the ACA -- known as Obamacare -- is generally entrenched in Republican legislative circles, especially in the
"To me, it may as well be
This story was produced in collaboration with
(c)2014 The Miami Herald
Visit The Miami Herald at www.miamiherald.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services