Florida Delegation Continues to Disagree on Obamacare

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: March 7, 2014 3:55 AM
Bill Posey, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Ron DeSantis

Bill Posey, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Ron DeSantis

Four years after President Barack Obama signed his federal health-care bill into law, Congress continues to battle over it with the Florida delegation divided on party lines.

This week, Republicans controlling the U.S. House passed the Simple Fairness Act, introduced by U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan., which would delay the individual mandate in the law until 2015. Republicans have argued that corporations and large businesses have been granted a delay on the individual mandate until next year and families and individuals should be included as well.

The bill passed on Tuesday with 250 congressmen -- including 27 Democrats -- voting for it and 160 voting against it. There is a similar bill in the Democratic-controlled Senate sponsored by U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., but it's making no progress.

Republicans from Florida made the case to delay the individual mandate this week, including U.S. Rep. Bill Posey. R-Fla.

“This bill simply delays the individual mandate tax penalty for a year so that Americans can pick a plan that they want and that they can afford, rather than one that the government in Washington tells them they must sign up for,” Posey said on Tuesday. “The president has already given large multinational corporations and labor unions the same waiver. We are simply extending this same flexibility to average Americans who want nothing more than to be treated equally.

“Ultimately, when you have to pass a bill to find out what’s in it, there’s a good chance that you’re not going to like what it says,” Posey added. “The only way to fix this situation is to repeal this law and replace it with a plan that restores individual freedom and makes health insurance more affordable.

Freshman U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., also fired away at the health-care law on Wednesday.

“When Congress enacts a law, the president has the constitutionally-mandated duty to ‘take care that the laws be faithfully executed,’” DeSantis said on Wednesday. “You would think that, when it comes to a president's signature initiative, that the president would be eager to discharge this responsibility. Not so with this president and Obamacare.”

DeSantis pointed to reports that the Obama administration was planning to delay mandates on insurance companies, state exchanges and risk corridors. The congressman insisted the Obama White House was doing this to help Democrats in the 2014 election cycle.

“Maybe my Constitution is missing a few pages because I cannot find the provision which authorizes the president to dispense with his obligation to faithfully execute the law if by doing so he helps his political party cling to power in a midterm election,” DeSantis said. “The constant rewriting of Obamacare is nothing more than a cynical attempt to allow members of Congress (particularly senators) to evade accountability for a law they imposed on the nation over the objections of their constituents. At some point the deception must end.”

But Democrats pushed back and U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), painted the Jenning’s bill as the latest attempt by Republicans to repeal the health-care law.

"I rise today to recognize the 50th time this House of Representatives has tried to repeal, defund or dismantle the Affordable Care Act,” Wasserman Schultz said on the House floor on Tuesday. "What a sad golden anniversary moment for the GOP.

"The Affordable Care Act, which has already helped millions of Americans, is the law of the land,” Wasserman Schultz added. “Instead of playing politics, let’s instead work together to address concerns over its implementation while upholding its mission: to provide quality, affordable health care access for all Americans. 

"With Americans facing so many real, pressing issues every day, I urge this Congress to focus on achieving results and serving our constituents,” Wasserman Schultz continued. “Two million Americans, including about 110,000 Floridians, have lost their unemployment insurance. Our immigration system is in dire need of common sense and comprehensive reforms. Women still make less than men while working equal jobs. The list goes on. We have work to do. We have a duty and responsibility to serve the interests of the American people. These pointless partisan attacks on the Affordable Care Act must stop."

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com.


Comments (5)

7:35PM MAR 19TH 2014
I will you had included the bill numbers.....
3:35PM MAR 10TH 2014
Thanks for saying "what a great idea"! While no explanation to you is needed I am currently a registered R and have been. That will soon end this week as the party cannot get along on the simplist of issues, and that's among themselves! As for silliness, your name says it all about being silly, and most likely a bit dense since you seem to be controlled by the likes of those who would take care of the bussiness millionaires, rather than the taxpayers who are footing the bills. I couldn't care which party was to take control, but there should be one in control of both houses. Perhaps the Republicans could take it first and then, see if they are all for the taxpayers. If not, I'm sure I'll see you supporting the Democrats for their chance, right?
John Paul Jones
9:38PM MAR 7TH 2014
Mark, why are you so embarrassed of being a lifelong democrat? What is the benefit of claiming that you were a republican? No one believes you. Just be a proud progressive democrat. All of your silliness is not going to gain any additional credibility just by pretending you were not always this progressive. Yes, lets put in a progressive who can raise taxes, increase regulations, pander to the unions, and really stick it to our economy. I mean, who needs a job as long as there is a big government to take care of us right? They are going to save us from AGW too right? Yes, lets get those democrats back in charge so we can all relax and be taken care of. Great idea.
4:14PM MAR 7TH 2014
@Fire. Don't you realize the Republicans already know what is best for you and the rest of us? Their brazen antics in Tallahassee as well as Washington D.C. have convinced me to leave the R party and join the D party! I'll just wait until the primaries so I can vote for anyone who opposes Elmer Fudd, oh, I mean Rick Scott! Yes, I admit, it's gotten down to name calling but to tell the truth ALL Republicans MUST be replaced as they have wreaked enough havoc upon the citizens for too many years now, and NOW is the time!
By the way, smoke 'em if you got 'em!
11:40AM MAR 7TH 2014
What about SB Bill 1562 and HB Bill 1039. The People could use these two bill over Obamacare. Why brush what the people want under the carpet. Legalize now.

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