Often viewed as a microcosm of greater America, Florida is home to people of diverse ages, cultural backgrounds and professions who are drawn to the Sunshine State for its casual way of living. Many Floridians have also been keeping tabs on the health care debate and hold very different views about whether the new reform law is a step in the right direction.
Retiree Dee Williams was against the bill and traveled to Washington, D.C. with the Tea Party movement to protest it. Dr. Mona Vishin Mangat, an allergist in St. Petersburg, Fla., is pleased with the health care reform law and believes it will help her spend more time with patients. Self-employed Floridian Ronni Drimmer is cautiously optimistic that the new law will help her get affordable coverage for a preexisting condition, while small business owner Jerry Pierce fears it will become overly bureaucratic and complicated.
NewsHour Health Correspondent Betty Ann Bowser talked to these four individuals as part of the NewsHour's "Spotlight City" series from Tampa, Fla.
"The amount of bureaucracy in the first few paragraphs that I have read of this new bill that has just been signed into law is absolutely incredible. It's off the charts." - Jerry Pierce, small business owner
"I can't get insurance as an individual at all. You know, I have preexisting conditions. Forget about it. There is no insurance for me." - Ronni Drimmer, self-employed Floridian
"I'm extremely pleased with the bill. I think it's a very good bill. Obviously, it could be better, but I think it's a step in the right direction. It really gets us a lot closer to insuring more Americans. It gets us closer to having -- you know, stopping insurance companies from these malicious practices that I just think were very arbitrary." - Dr. Mona Vishin Mangat, allergist
1. What do you know about Florida and its population?
2. What is a "microcosm?"
3. What is the Tea Party movement?
1. What do you think of the new health reform law? Do you think it's a good move for the country? Why/why not?
2. What aspects make Florida a microcosm of the rest of the country? What other states have you heard this term applied to?
3. Do you agree with one or more of the Floridians in the video? If so, who do you agree with and why?