More than five years after President Barack Obama signed his signature health-care proposal into law, Republicans looking to represent Florida in the U.S. Senate continue to oppose it. On Thursday, the Independent Women’s Voice announced that U.S. Rep. David Jolly, R-Fla., signed its pledge to repeal Obama’s health-care law. Jolly is running for the Republican nomination to replace U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., in 2016.
"Rep. David Jolly’s decision to take the pledge shows he gets it when it comes to health care,” said Heather Higgins, the president and CEO of Independent Women's Voice. “This clearly demonstrates to voters his commitment to the full and complete repeal of Obamacare.
“Rep. Jolly understands the harm that Obamacare has already caused through increased premiums and costs, and a decreasing quality of care,” Higgins continued. “Obamacare means bigger government. It means less freedom. It means people have less choice and control in their health care decisions. And all of this will continue to grow worse if Obamacare isn’t turned back.
"The Repeal Pledge was designed as a litmus test to help the American public understand which candidates and office holders are serious about repeal, versus those who claim to be but won't actually take action," concluded Higgins. "With this commitment, Rep. David Jolly passes that test."
“Washington-run health care is not the answer,” said Jolly who sponsored a bill to repeal the individual mandate included in the law. “Increased costs, limited patient choice, and fewer working hours are just a few of the law’s failures. We need to repeal and replace Obamacare with common-sense solutions that restores the freedom of all Americans to decide what health coverage is right for them and their family.”
Some of the Republican presidential candidates, including Rubio, have signed the Independent Women’s Voice pledge to repeal the law.
But Jolly is not the only Republican running for Rubio’s seat who opposes Obamacare. First elected to Congress in 2012, U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., has been an ardent advocate of repealing the law.
"The full and complete repeal of Obamacare is one of the most critical issues of our time,” DeSantis said back in May 2013. “The law's budgetary costs are prohibitive, its bureaucracy is vast and unaccountable, and it harms Medicare recipients, jeopardizes the health plans of millions of Americans, and causes insurance costs to soar. The sordid history of the law's legislative genesis has been matched by the calamitous nature of the law's implementation. That the law requires enforcement by the IRS, an admitted rogue agency, is further testament for the need to start anew. As the law's chief author, Sen. Max Baucus, recently admitted, the law is a train wreck. This train wreck will continue to do harm if Congress fails to short circuit it as soon as possible. Congress should replace Obamacare with policies designed to strengthen Medicare, facilitate consumer choice, reduce costs, and allow the doctor-patient relationship to flourish."
Since then, DeSantis has remained a supporter of repealing the law.
Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera is also running for the Republican nod and he has the support of Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi who led a coalition of states that challenged Obama’s health-care law, though they came up short in a U.S. Supreme Court decision.
Since entering the race, Lopez-Cantera has highlighted his ties to his boss, Gov. Rick Scott, who became politically prominent by opposing Obama’s health-care proposal and leading Conservatives for Patients' Rights (CPR) against it. Lopez-Cantera has also tied himself to Bondi, holding events with her at last month’s Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) meeting.
“I am deeply grateful and honored to receive an endorsement from my friend Pam Bondi to be the next United States senator from Florida,” Lopez-Cantera said back in July when he announced her endorsement. “She's led the battle in Florida against Obamacare and fights every day to protect our rights and freedoms. I know Pam's help in this campaign will make a real difference in getting our message out to the voters of Florida.”
Businessman Todd Wilcox, an Army veteran who served in the CIA, also stands against Obama’s law as he runs for the Republican Senate nomination. Back in June, when he was exploring running for the Senate, Wilcox insisted “free market capitalism is under constant attack by the left of the Democratic Party,” including Obama’s health-care law as part of that attack.
Wilcox told Saintpetersblog, in an article published at the end of July, that he wanted to repeal the law. Pointing to his own experience in the private sector, Wilcox said the individual mandate in particular was a problem for the economy.
These four candidates could soon be joined by another opponent of Obama’s health-care law. Former Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum has left the door open to entering the Senate race. McCollum launched the constitutional challenge to the law which Bondi later continued.
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