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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida health care reaction a mixed bag



Just after 1 a.m., all 58 Democrats, including Florida's Bill Nelson, and the Senate's two independents voted to overcome a GOP filibuster and move the health care bill to a final vote by Christmas Eve. (More here.) Reaction around Florida mirrored the division.

Republican Sen. George LeMieux: “Why do we need to rush this bill through before Christmas, before we have had a chance to read it and amend it and improve it? The issue of providing affordable access to health care is too important and too big an issue to move hastily. In its current form, this is not a good bill for America.”

Sen. Bill Nelson: “The legislation in the Senate certainly doesn’t have everything l want, like forcing drug companies to lower prices for prescriptions covered under Medicare or allowing seniors to import lower-cost drugs from Canada. But no piece of legislation does. And when it comes to health care reform, we can't afford to sit by and do nothing anymore."

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio: "What’s going on in Washington is neither a debate nor the new era of politics that this president and Democrat Congress promised us. It’s not even politics as usual. What's going on in Washington today is the new manifestation of the very worst aspects of the failed cynical politics of the past, combined with policies that will lead America towards an unexceptional future."

AARP Florida director Lori Parham: “AARP Florida commends Sen. Nelson for voting to move forward on health-care reform to protect guaranteed Medicare benefits and help millions of older Americans overcome the challenges of accessing affordable, quality health services. ... AARP will be working with Florida’s members of Congress to strengthen this legislation further in conference and to help make meaningful health-care reform a reality. It’s unfortunate that an issue as important as health-care reform is subject to political delay. We’re disappointed that Sen. LeMieux voted to block action on this important bill.”


[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 1:11pm]


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