“AFP-FL activists are outraged over the clear collusion between Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Enroll America, both supposed non-profit organizations,” said Slade O'Brien, Florida Director for Americans for Prosperity, in a statement to the press. “Blue Cross and Blue Shield has executives on Enroll America’s Board of Directors and stands to earn huge profits from Enroll America’s community organizing program that will sign people up for new insurance policies. That's called inurnment and it’s not only unacceptable, it’s illegal.”
Enroll America describes itself as a 501 (c)(3) “whose mission is to maximize the number of uninsured Americans who enroll in health coverage made available by the Affordable Care Act”. Along with Florida Blue, its Board of Directors consist of representatives from Families USA and National Association of Community Health Centers, among others.
The Tampa protest brought out about ten people to stand along Westshore Boulevard waving signs plastered with phrases such as “Enroll America is Bluecross BS” and “IRS investigate Enroll America."
While the general opinion of the protesters was that insurance companies shouldn't be supporting programs that will eventually benefit, most were participating in general opposition to the Affordable Care Act.
“The problem with Obamacare is the problem with most of the liberal's agenda in that they over focus on compensation and not enough on basic human nature, cause and effect and basic economics,” said Eric Greenbaum, who took his lunch break to join.
Those attending also wanted to make clear that they weren't simply against expanded healthcare.
“When people say the right doesn't have any solutions on healthcare, we have a solution,” said William Mahmet. “It's called the free market, shopping across state lines, being allowed to pay your doctor in cash, not being forced to go through a complicated rigmarole of insurance schemes. That's our plan.”
Public response was mostly positive, with several honks by passing cars and only one middle finger directed at the group.
“It's hot and humid, middle of the day, but the point wasn't to get some big crowd out here,” said Sharon Calvert of the Tampa Tea Party. “The point was to get the message out there that there's issues with Obamacare and make sure that the message continues to be public.”
In response Florida Blue offered a statement:
Florida Blue has long supported health care reform that increases access to care, improves overall quality, and reduces the cost burden for all people in Florida, consistent with our mission. The Affordable Care Act is complex and Florida Blue supports efforts to inform the people in Florida about it so they can make good health care choices for themselves and their families.