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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Al Lawson accuses Boyd of selling out to health care industry



State Sen. Al Lawson had some tough words today for his Democratic primary rival, U.S. Rep. Allen Boyd, who voted last week against the House health care bill.

"In my opinion, he's in the pocket of the health care industry," the Tallahassee lawmaker said in an interview, charging his opponent with taking more than $100,000 in campaign contributions from forces trying to alter or kill the reform effort.

But Boyd, of Monticello, has gotten plenty of praise to go along with the criticism. During a town hall last night in Tallahassee, he said he voted against the measure because it did little to nothing to hold down costs. (Democrat story is here)

Lawson said people in North Florida need relief because premiums are soaring for those with insurance and others cannot afford coverage. And he took a shot at Boyd for saying he was against expanded government, noting that Boyd has taken farm subsidies.

Boyd's spokesman Chris Cashman replies:

Congressman Boyd has said since this debate began that any responsible healthcare reform package must include four key principles to receive his support: patient choice, increased access; deficit neutrality; and that responsible healthcare reform must reduce the rising cost of healthcare services.  The House bill did accomplish some of these goals, but it failed to sufficiently rein in skyrocketing healthcare costs, as determined by the Congressional Budget Office.  That's why the Congressman voted against the bill and wants to continue working toward responsible reform.  As with any other piece of legislation, Congressman Boyd bases his vote on the merits of the bill and how it will affect the people of North Florida."

Boyd was one of two Florida Democrats to oppose the bill. The other was Suzanne Kosmas of the Orlando area.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 1:05pm]


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