Make us your home page

The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Diaz-Balart, Gaetz help advance GOP health care bill



WASHINGTON - Florida Republican Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart and Matt Gaetz helped pass the controversial GOP health care bill out of the budget committee this morning, setting up a full House vote as early as next week.

Three conservative Republicans dissented but that was not enough to stop the American Health Care Act from moving forward. Still, the criticism has only grown and yesterday Speaker Paul Ryan indicated it would have to change.

Diaz-Balart statement: “Today’s vote was merely a procedural advancement of the bill from the Budget Committee to the Rules Committee, where legislative changes can and must take place. My committee vote does not mean I will support final passage of this legislation as it presently reads. I have clearly stated that I have some serious concerns with the bill in its current form. This isn’t the end of the road, but rather, one step of a long process that will include conference with the Senate.

"It is well known the Affordable Care Act is collapsing; out-of-pocket costs and premiums have skyrocketed, insurance companies are leaving the exchanges, and state marketplaces have fewer choices. In Florida’s 25th District, the impact of Obamacare is significant. Residents in two of the three counties I represent, Collier and Hendry, only have one insurance provider, resulting in no choice or competition. I will continue working with my colleagues to ensure the replacement addresses the varying health insurance needs of our country, lowers costs, and bolsters the economy.”

[Last modified: Thursday, March 16, 2017 4:49pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours