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As King v. Burwell Looms, Florida GOP Congressmen Push Alternatives to Obamacare

June 19, 2015 - 10:15am

With the U.S. Supreme Court expected to rule next week on King v. Burwell, two Florida Republicans promoted alternatives to President Barack Obama’s federal health-care law this week. 

King v. Burwell is a challenge to Obama’s law, specifically focused on whether health insurance tax credits can be run at both the federal and state levels. The plaintiffs insist only state exchanges can promote the tax credits. 

US. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., introduced the “Free Market Health-care Restoration and Coverage Act of 2015” on Thursday which repeals Obama’s heath-care law while keeping subsidies until 2017. 
"With the King v. Burwell ruling quickly approaching, I introduced legislation that would allow my constituents and Americans across the country to keep their premiums while House Republicans work on a real and permanent solution," Diaz-Balart said. “I strongly believe that our constituents should not suffer the negative consequences of the poor decisions made by congressional Democrats and President Obama. This bill will extend current subsidies until 2017, keeping premiums at the current rate. It also repeals Obamacare in May 2017, allowing the next president to work in a bipartisan fashion with Congress. I am committed to continue working with my colleagues in order to get this done. Americans deserve access to the care they need, from the doctors they choose, at a price they can afford."

U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., showcased his support for another option to Obamacare: the “Empowering Patients First Act” from U.S. Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. Besides repealing Obama’s law, Price’s bill contains a universal tax credit for Americans who opt for health insurance based on age while expanding Medicaid options. Price has pushed his bill in recent years, bringing it back again in May.

“Under Obamacare, the American people are paying more for health care and getting less – less access, less quality, and fewer choices,” Price insisted when he brought out the bill last month. “The status quo and its defenders are empowering Washington and harming patients and doctors. With real, patient-centered reforms we can build a more innovative and responsive health care system – one that empowers patients and ensures they and their doctor have the freedom to make health care decisions without bureaucratic interference or influence.
“The Empowering Patients First Act puts patients, families and doctors in charge by focusing on the principles of affordability, accessibility, quality, innovation, choices and responsiveness,” Price added. “Those principles form the foundation of the solutions in HR 2300 -– solutions including individual health pools and expanded health savings accounts, tax credits for the purchase of coverage and lawsuit abuse reforms to reduce the costly practice of defensive medicine. The solutions in the Empowering Patients First Act will get Washington out of the way while protecting and strengthening the doctor-patient relationship.”

Yoho was one of more than 75 co-sponsors backing Price’s bill. Other co-sponsors from Florida include Republican U.S. Reps. Vern Buchanan, Jeff Miller and Dan Webster. 

“I acknowledge a good number of Americans have received health-care coverage under the Affordable Care Act,” Yoho said on Thursday. “However, Obamacare’s one-size-fits-all approach to changing our nation’s health-care system has been a disaster and is unsustainable. I firmly believe we can do better.  

“Five years in, individuals across America are feeling the law’s adverse effects, misguided policies, and burdensome mandates,” Yoho added. “As someone who has seen his health-care premiums more than double, the law failed to deliver on its famous promise of, ‘if you like your health plan, you can keep it.’  

“The Empowering Patients First Act is a common-sense approach to transitioning Americans away from a less access, less quality, and fewer choices system, to a patient centered health-care system,” Yoho said in conclusion. “Patients and their doctors should be in charge of important health-care decisions, not the federal government. Obamacare is legislative malpractice at its finest and should be replaced. After living with its broken promises, it is time to replace it with a law that provides choices to quality health-care, is affordable, responsive, and accessible to all Americans.” 
Reach Kevin Derby at or follow him on Twitter: @KevinDerbySSN


Any alternative or temporary extension must at the very minimum include a repeal of the individual mandate. Being forced to purchase something is a terrible overreach by the government.

How is it our fault. Obama and Pelosi passed this defective and non-functioning monstrosity that destroyed the market. The damage is only just starting to become apparent. It is actually what Democrats collapse any vestige of any free market in any sector of the US economy. It is the fault of liberals, plain and simple.

My insurance premium went down this year. Republicans can't say theirs have ever done that. Wait they never had an insurance program, they just want to destroy this one

So republicans will scramble. Truth is... Florida refused to set up state exchange, so if Floridians lose the subsidies, it is the fault of our lawmakers. They also refused to regulate the policies and their prices, a part of the states Job. Therefore, if you have a problem with your policy or it's cost in Florida, it is the fault of Republicant Lawmakers. So put that blame where it belongs!

By the letter of the law people were never entitled to a subsidy. The IRS broke the law.

You don't have a clue do you John? Well, you are wrong. The law allowed citizens who went through their state run exchanges to get subsidies. Since Florida's republicants run goverment refused to do their jobs and set up an exchange, just partisan politics at it's worst, citizens had to use the fed exchange. If Floridians lose their subsidies, it will be the fault of Florida's republicants. That is the facts. Your comment was just partisan bs.

> Since Florida's republicants run goverment refused to do their jobs and set up an exchange, THAT is partisan BS, Dean. No State is required to implement a Federal plan. Typically States accept the inducement (dollars), but in this case most States did not. If you consider States' refusal to accept Federal inducements to be partisan then what do you consider a Federal statute enacted solely by one party? Pot meet kettle.

The purpose of my post was not to address obamacare, but to point out that if Floridians lose subsidies it is the fault of republicants. That is TRUE! They refused to set up an exchange for partisan reasons. That is TRUE! Like it or not, obamacare has helped thousands. Our elected lawmakers failed US and if Floridians lose their subsidies it is their fault. As to your statement about the Fed level. Republicans have done nothing to fix it. They have done nothing to replace it. All for partisan reasons.

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