More than 440,000 Florida residents had been enrolled through the federal marketplace through the end of February, putting Florida on pace to exceed the federal government's initial projections by the time enrollment closes March 31. […]In contrast, much deeper red Texas has had only 295,000 sign up, even though its population is about one third larger than Florida's and its dubious claim as having the highest number of uninsured people in the country. A strong enough progressive infrastructure to overcome everything Texas Republicans have thrown up against the law's success just doesn't exist. But in Florida, there are still campaign organizers and volunteers who are well-established in their communities who have been enlisted to find the uninsured and help them get enrolled.
Florida's Republican leaders chose not to spend any state money marketing the new health plans to millions of uninsured, so the work was supported by $20.5 million in federal grants plus manpower from the nonprofit organization Enroll America.
Florida residents have also been reached by federally funded TV, radio and digital ads. About $52 million has been spent in the last three months on the ads in Florida and the other 28 states relying on the federal marketplace, said Julie Bataille, spokeswoman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The agency has repeatedly declined to provide a state-by-state breakdown of how taxpayer dollars are being spent on ads.
It worked in President Obama's campaigns, and it's working here. That's not to say that the problem of Florida's high uninsured rate is solved—1.3 million Floridians are still in the Medicaid gap, since the state rejected Medicaid expansion.