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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Health care debate now in Florida voters' hands



WASHINGTON — Just before signing the health care bill, President Barack Obama paid tribute to the "historic leadership and uncommon courage of the men and women of the United States Congress, who've taken their lumps during this difficult debate."

"Yes, we did," someone shouted, the jam-packed White House East Room breaking into laughter.

With the legislation now law, the contentious debate is shifting to a broader forum: cities and towns across America, where Republicans and their allies are hoping voters are ready to deliver more lumps in the congressional midterm elections.

"This fight is far from over," Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., vowed Wednesday.

But with the public divided over the plan's merits and generally distrustful of the federal government, the ultimate decider may be who can best pitch their message. The battle will inject tens of millions of dollars into campaigns, and Florida is one of the principal battlegrounds. (story here)

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 11:25am]


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