Healthcare issues are their top priorities

They seek preservation of mother, child care

For three days immediately before Election Day 2012, volunteers for the Obama campaign knocked on a million doors across Florida, encouraging residents to vote. When it was her time to vote, one of the volunteers, Christina Porter, 40, rolled out of bed and headed straight to the polls.

Porter’s polling place, the Riviera Fire Station in Coral Gables, was fairly quiet.  Voters were in and out within half an hour.  There was not a great deal to do and Porter had plenty of time to reflect on why she supported President Barack Obama.

Porter moved to Miami in 2004 to study criminology at the University of Miami. After graduating in 2007, she focused on her family.  In 2008, she volunteered to work on the Obama campaign.  In 2012, she was looking for stable employment; President Obama and his plans for the middle class were her best hope, she said.

Porter is a stay-at-home mom. She said she hopes to have more children in the next couple years.  However, by adding maternity coverage, she said,  her insurance premium would increase by $1,000 a month. Obama’s Affordable Care Act would provide several health benefits to pregnant women beginning in 2014.

The Affordable Care Act that Obama initiated prevented health insurance companies from excluding coverage based on preexisting conditions and provided coverage for medical needs during pregnancy and for the care of newborn children.  Porter and others said they expected that if elected Gov. Mitt Romney would greatly modify the health insurance program that has come to be known as Obama Care. “My family literally can’t afford afford to have Romney as our president,” Porter said.

Chelsea Verduin, 20 and  a junior at UM,  also was concerned about healthcare. She worried also about women’s rights,  equal pay for women, funding for Planned Parenthood and access to abortion.  She said she was most concerned about former Massachuseetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s plan to restrict access to birth control. “If it’s a possibility, I don’t like it,” Verduin said.

With the race so close, Verduin said she and her friends felt compelled to vote. Originally from New Jersey, Verduin decided to vote in Florida because it is an influential swing state.  “My vote is bigger here,” Verduin said. “It means more and I feel like I am actually making a difference.”

More like this: Coral Gables | Election - Miami

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