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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Tea party leaders apologize for outbursts at Affordable Care Act committee meeting

6

December

Tea party leaders across Florida are distancing themselves from the individuals who shouted over senators during Monday's meeting of the Senate Select Committee on Patient Protect and Affordable Care Act.

The letter to Committee Chairman Joe Negron is signed by 17 tea party leaders from across the state who collectively identify themselves as the Florida Alliance. In it, they apologize for outbursts at Monday's meeting when people shouted to insist that a speaker receive more time during public comment then boo'd Senate Majority Leader Chris Smith when responded to the testimony. 

"Tea Party leaders in Florida as represented by The Florida Alliance have long rejected organized and planned tactics by groups like Code Pink, MoveOn.org and Occupy Wall Street to shout people down in meetings," the Alliance wrote in the letter, which has today's date on it. "Our compatriots were responding from an over-abundance of passion for freedom. They were spontaneously trying to participate in a process that has been frustrating and opaque for years and their response was not pre-meditated and not intended to interfere in your process. However, speaking over a sitting Senator who is using his allotted time to represent his constituents is unacceptable."

In the letter, the tea party leaders also encourage Negron to resist implementing health exchanges and other aspects of the Affordable Care Act.

"We also wish you to recognize that there are alternative pathways for achieving markedly increased access to lower cost and higher quality health care and health insurance for Florida that are outside those envisioned in PPACA," the group wrote.

They said more flexible spending accounts, allowing insurers to sell policies across state lines, more tax deducations and deregulation would all do more to lower costs and improve access to healthcare.

[Last modified: Thursday, December 6, 2012 5:13pm]

    

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