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Florida Voices React to Senate Proposal to Repeal and Replace Obamacare

June 22, 2017 - 5:15pm
Marco Rubio, Bill Nelson, Neal Dunn and Val Demings
Marco Rubio, Bill Nelson, Neal Dunn and Val Demings

Florida politicians weighed in on the U.S. Senate’s new proposal to repeal and replace Barack Obama’s signature healthcare bill.

On Thursday, Senate Republican leaders unveiled the new proposal, which will largely dismantle the Affordable Care Act. 
Congressmen scrambled upon seeing the bill, with many of them not knowing what, exactly, was in the measure. The Congressional Budget Office has not yet released its analysis on the healthcare act, which lawmakers hope will come to a vote by next week.
Here’s how Florida politicians are reacting to the new healthcare bill:
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla. (via Twitter)
“Now we know why they kept this bill secret – it’s just as bad as House bill. We should be working together, not plotting behind closed doors.”
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.
“Senator Rubio will decide how to vote on health care on the basis of how it impacts Florida. He has already spoken to Governor Scott, Senate President Negron and Speaker Corcoran about the first draft of this proposal. He has instructed his staff to share with state leaders the first draft and has asked them to run numbers and provide input on how this initial proposal would impact Florida’s Medicaid program and individual insurance marketplace. He has invited them to send staff to Washington next week to help us formulate changes and amendments to this proposal. He will continue to reach out for input and suggested changes from Florida providers, insurers and patient advocate groups.”

U.S. Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla. (via Twitter)
“Don't be fooled, Senate #HealthcareBill just as callous as the House bill. Millions  lose coverage, premiums go [up], & seniors hit hardest.”

U.S. Rep. Neal Dunn, R-Fla.
“Obamacare is failing. Americans are facing higher premiums and deductibles that no one can afford. Insurers are pulling out of Obamacare altogether. Some regions of the country have only one choice of coverage, and next year there may be many areas and entire states without any Obamacare plans at all. We must act now to repeal Obamacare and fix our broken health care system.
“I will closely review the Senate proposal and listen to the feedback from the hardworking families I represent. It is also important to remember that the bill is likely to change before coming to a vote in the Senate.
“What is certain, is that Congress must pass an Obamacare repeal and send it to the President as soon as possible. With so many Floridians hurting and the health care system in a freefall, there is no time to lose.”

U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, D-Fla.
“Just like the House bill, the Senate health care bill is heartless and reckless. This is what we get when we have a 13-member group, made up only of male Senate Republicans, develop a plan in secret. We should be making it easier for more hardworking Americans to access affordable health care, not be giving tax breaks to the wealthy.
“I will not stand idly by while Republicans try to wreak havoc with our country’s Medicaid and Medicare that so many rely on for health care, while also gutting key protections, and instituting a crushing age tax. This is not what the American people want for health care reform. We will learn more over the next week about everything that is in this proposal, but so far everything I’ve heard is unacceptable for Florida’s fifth.”


U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla. (via Twitter)

"This #HealthcareBill was crafted behind closed doors without bipartisan input or a single public hearing. The American people deserve better. Congress needs to work in a bipartisan way to pass a real plan that strengthens health care in America – not weakens it."


This is a breaking story. Check back for updates.


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Dear VP Pence, (and others) What Exactly Do You Mean by "Personal Responsibility"? I was scrolling Twitter last night and came across this tweet. And, I'm going to be honest, it triggered something in me. You see, I've been angry for a long time now, about a lot of things happening in our country. But my anger has been simmering, controlled. Tonight though, it reached a boiling point. I realize I no longer live in a country with values I recognize, or with leadership I trust. And that's infuriating. Personal responsibility, Mr. Pence? What exactly are you referring to here? Because I really don't know how my six-year-old, who is non-verbal, non-ambulatory, exclusively tube fed, vision impaired and medically fragile, who relies on me and a handful of other caregivers for literally everything, is supposed to take personal responsibility for his own health. You know, since it was his fault he was born with an incurable genetic disease. I don't know, maybe if he had just worked a little harder to eat as a baby, instead of throwing up every ounce we gave him, he wouldn't have needed that feeding tube. I guess the hours we've spent in therapy trying to get him to achieve milestones like sitting up and crawling just weren't enough. He should have tried harder, right? Regardless of how much he's slacked off in the personal responsibility game, here we are. I have a child who is not, and will not ever be healthy, and you and I both know that's no one's fault, especially not his. But seriously, answer this question for me. If lifetime caps on insurance are allowed to be reinstated, and Medicaid is gutted, how is Grayson supposed to get the thousands upon thousands upon thousands of dollars (and honestly, it's likely millions) worth of healthcare products and services he needs to LIVE? Without access to the health care, our private insurance and Medicaid provides, he will die. If I sound a little shrill and dramatic, it's because I am. Put yourself in my shoes, and the shoes of my friends with medically fragile kids. Hundreds of miles away from where I tucked my little boy in bed last night, positioning him to ensure he sleeps safely and comfortably, there are a group of white men (no women or people of color, really?) who secretly wrote a bill that makes it clear that the value of my son's life has a limit. You're a father. Think about that- what if someone told you that about one of your kids? Would you not fight like hell and maybe get a little dramatic and shrill? Oh wait, you say you aren't talking about Grayson himself not having any personal responsibility for his health? Ok, so you mean me? And my husband? Well, my husband works really long hours as a high school teacher and coach, pouring into teenagers and trying to teach them that personal responsibility you seem so fond of. But it's no secret teaching doesn't make one wealthy, and it certainly isn't going to provide the funds necessary to keep my child from dying if we lose insurance and/or Medicaid for him. And me? Do you want to know the weight of my personal responsibility? The crushing weight that every single special needs mother feels, and can't unload? How I lie awake at night wondering, and worrying, about a child's future who has no future apart from me. How sometimes I feel more like his nurse than his mom, or his manager, with all the phone calls and paperwork I have to do on his behalf. How keeping myself healthy (physically and mentally) is so crucial, mainly because how would I take care of Grayson if I were sick or dead? What would happen to him? Don't you dare suggest that I haven't felt, or acted, responsibly? Mr. Pence, I know a lot of people who really like you, especially where I live. They voted for and tolerate that moron who picked you as his running mate, but you are the one they think is going to turn this country around, and make it "great" again. Why? Because you're a Christian and are pro-life. You claim to have Christian values and are going to bring God back into our country. Ok, great. I'm a Christian too. And I love Jesus. But like Gandhi, I don't really like a lot of Christians these days, because they are so unlike my Christ. And honestly, I'm sticking you in that category too. There is absolutely nothing Christ-like or pro-life about gutting Medicaid and making the sick and the poor suffer while the rich get richer. Your brand of Christianity is the prosperity gospel- work hard enough, and be the right kind of person, and you will be rewarded. Real life, REALITY, doesn't work like that. Good, hard working people get sick all the time and need expensive care, care that is often the reason they are poor. You think Jesus would agree that the value of Grayson's, or anyone's life, has a monetary limit? You may be right, that may be the Republican way, but I sure as hell hope you're wrong about it being the American way. This is not the America I want to raise my children in, and they surely won't be taught to embrace these values. Being sick or poor is not a character flaw. We are supposed to take care of each other; instead, you want only those who are rich, able-bodied, or have lived up to some arbitrary measure of "personal responsibility" to have the America you are making to be "great". Well, fuck that, Mr. Pence. I am angry, and I will stay angry and fight like hell for my child and all the children and Americans who are being screwed by this inhumane, ridiculous bill. That, I believe, is MY personal responsibility. Find this here:

Taking care of one's health starts with parents caring for their children by teaching them healthy living habits. As the children grow into adulthood they should become responsible for their own health. Apart from Medicare and Medicaid, it is not a responsibility of the government accept for help they can make available in health education and training through the K-12 and higher education systems.

There are far TOO MANY Professional Politicians (LAWYERS mostly) that a Win-Win is Highly Unlikely. I don't know where this will go, but I'm confident that we, the masses, will never come out ahead. I'm sure that Putin is delighted by all of the "Internal American Obstructionism of ALL Government". And, Russian involvement is (I believe) not a true CAUSE of anything! Everyone calls America a "Democracy" while it is NOT. America is a CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC! Since this site does not allow websites to be published... if you are familiar with You Tube you might search on "two constitutions" to learn some generally unknown information... quite shocking.

Interesting to see so many of you giving advise that you are so sure of that you do so behind pseudonyms. The Insurance Lobby is in control of what is in Obamacare and Trumpcaresless. We have no real say in this.

Sorry "mam, your dems started this with ZERO votes from the repubs.! What does CROW taste like???? Enjoy it, it's going to be a tasty two years!

Now more than ever we should be demanding a single payer system. Our system is driven by 2 things, cash and greed, plain and simple. The wing nuts will be out in full force crying socialism, healthcare decline, no doctors, quality free fall... Tell that to Canada, UK, Australia, Taiwan, Japan, France, Spain, etc., etc. Oh, and we have not been in the top 20 in quality of medicine in the last 20 years... Wake up people, this is and has always been about only one thing for

Having Healthcare is a right! Owning a gun is a right! Will the government buy me a weapon? Now on a serious side.....If this nation wants to have universal healthcare, then reduce spending elsewhere or find a way to increase revenues to support national healthcare. Reduce the expenditures to other countries to support them. Maybe stop a war somewhere or institute a ONE CENT SALES TAX for the sole purpose of healthcare. Oh and make it illegal for the elected representation of this nation to STOP raiding trust funds and other dedicated monies for purposes other than intended AND enforce the law. It might be wise to have those elected representatives and employees of the government participate in the same healthcare insurance programs those that elected them are FORCED to participate. We have options but the problems can't be addressed as long as the representatives refuse to talk to each other. The situation in D.C. Today is not any better or worse than it was when Obamacare was passed. The program was developed in relative secrecy and the ability to REVIEW it before it was passed was non existent. It's not Dems v Reps. It's the elected representatives verses the constituents because the elected representatives are too dense to see what their refusal to communicate and find an answer is doing.

Very well said indeed. I don't think that FULL REPEAL and FULL REPLACEMENT of ANY Healthcare will ever be on the Menu. The Constitution did not address any sort of healthcare per se - in the days of the Founding Fathers, all relied on "help" from friends, relatives, and the good will of others. Now, the thinking is that this should be handled by the Government, who are known for their ability to Screw-Up all that they touch. Yes, like all Americans, I would love to have a Great, Inexpensive Healthcare plan available - and I am strongly Conservative! But "Government Healthcare" genuinely falls to the LEFT of Center. I don't know the answer -- what I DO know is that we need Term Limits (NO Professional Politicians), and that a Jackass cannot eat an Elephant in ONE BITE. This is a new DEFINING MOMENT in American History... will we go Socialist, or will we embrace the Constitution?

This is crazy. What are you guys thinking? Some of you are going to lose coverage. All the one of you that have insurance are going to pay more and more and more. Your grandparents, parents, maybe even you are going to need nursing home care and it is not going to be there. You are going to weep and cry and no one is going to dry your tears. These legislators are going to give tax relief to rich people. They are going to line the pockets of their political contributors. When your child is diagnosed with schitzophrenia or god forbid they become a drug addict there will be no help to get them care. I am am weeping for my friend that is a 63 year old grandmother that is taking care of her three beautiful grandchildren. She and her husband worked hard all their lives. They have bankrupted themselves taking care of these children. She called me and was crying - afraid to go to the hospital because she said they harass her because of a previous ER visit. I told her she had to go. She was able to get care because she has the Afordable Care Act insurance ("Obamacare"). She has been hospitalized twice now with serious problems with her kidneys. I think she will be able to recover. What will happen to those children is she doesn't? Think people.

Any program devised will line the pockets of the rich and political contributors. If you don't believe that, God Help You! Additionally, ANY program will not address everyone the way someone wants and any insurance related program the government has attempted to institute has major problems. The problems with Obamacare are many depending upon your point of view. The biggest problem I have with it is that it forces you to buy or be penalized for not buying something you don't want; and that my doctors change annually. All this is doing is lining pockets of someone and taking a large slice of my retirement funds...To a point I've had to return to work. What will happen to those ill people that don't have health insurance? That is where the government should focus. Providing a safety net and paying for it without destroying the financial stability of those that have tried to do right. Foreign aid can be reduced. Not buying a new bomber. Finding a way to reduce the cost of healthcare and "scripts". Look at a way to increase available medical personnel in this nation. Make it more reasonable for a person to become a physician or a physician's assistant. Allow PAs and RNs to do more. Stop the insanity in D.C. All that will come of it is a divided country.

Nelson is the Biggest B.S.moving on anything Repub's Do.....Hooray he be OUT when 2018 elections come up....Demmings is just a Black lives Moochers movement ...toget Freebies for the deadbeat drug pushers in poverty areas......READ and WEEP.....obamaCare is Over & GOVT.dont need to OFFER Healthcare Except the ones that EARNED Veterans.....It the Person there self to make sure they Got Ins...NOT GOVT....

Here is a prime example of Demmings character, When she was Orlando Chief of Police, she lost her gun and failed to report it ! (Just who we needed in Congress, another scammer).

The Democrats conveniently forget that they refused to allow any Republicans to participate in Obamacare! Their leader, the sanctimonious Nancy Pelosi, famously stated, " You'll have to pass it to know what's in it." Republicans would work with Democrats but they refuse! So who's trying to pull the wool over Americans??!!

BILL NELSON - YOU ARE A LIAR. Bill Nelson - you are such a HACK. You have never once fought for America - you only fight as a partisan Democrat hack. Obamacare SUCKS. I lost my policy. My wife with 2 of our kids on hers lost it too. Our premiums are now 3x what they were. Our deductibles are now $12,500. BILL NELSON - YOU SAID WE COULD KEEP OUR PLANS. LIAR. YOU TOLD US WE WOULD GET A $2,400 CUT IN COSTS. LIAR. YOU LIED TO US MR NELSON - WE WILL NEVER EVER TRUST YOU AGAIN. WE WILL WO0RK HARD AGAINST YOU IN THE NEXT ELECTION. BILL NELSON THE LYING DEMOCRAT HACK.

Let's go back to,pre aca days and start over with. The understanding that govt cannot provide health care. Only true MARKET forces can enhance the health care system

Why can't we just have Obamacare for those who support Obamacare and trumpcareless fo those who support trump? Everyone gets what they voted for and everyone's happy.

Because we are paying for what you are not. Example: I'm a 62 yr old Woman my monthly payment$641.00,$6000 annual deductible. Do the math. 641x 12= $7692 so I pay that amount but I have to pay another $6000 to meet my deductible for my policy to kick in. So that $13,692 I would be out of pocket. What do you pay with obamacare.? But hey, I now have maternity coverage, and if I want I can have a sex change. Go figure! Government has no business being in the insurance business. They don't know how it works but they have alot of opinions.

A bird in the hand (the ACA) is worth 2 in the bush. Particularly with millions of our fellow American's existing health care at stake.

Yes - you have no problem lying to us. WE LOST OUR PLANS. Was all this only about Obama and democrats getting votes???????? we read over 30 MILLION PEOPLE LOST THEIR HEALTH PLANS. Do you think we will ever vote for another democrat. LIARS

The ACA I mentioned is former President Obama's health plan that you will lose. Read carefully and think before you write.

Gov't NOT Healthcare. Obama has caused wonderful medical doctors, nurses and the like to retire early and in many cases close down because it was breaking the backs of those who provided great healthcare. "If you think healthcare is unaffordable now..." WAIT TILL IT'S FREE

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