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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida reaction to Obamacare news



President Obama today announced a "fix" giving insurance companies the option to keep offering insurance plans that would otherwise be canceled because they did not meet minum standards under the Affordable Care Act. Full story here.

Florida reaction.

Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty: “Most health insurers in Florida have already voluntarily extended coverage for affected policyholders through 2014. However, for those companies that did not, the Office pledges to work with any company that chooses to continue coverage in accordance with the President’s transitional policy, and to facilitate the continuation of coverage for Floridians. ”

Gov. Rick Scott: “The patchwork changes President Obama announced to his healthcare law today amount to nothing more than kicking the can down the road for 300,000 Florida families who are losing the insurance plans the President told them they could keep. What happens to these families in a year? Will these families still see their insurance costs go up?  President Obama’s changes to his own law will likely be the first of many. It is a bad law.”

Sen. Bill Nelson: "Health reform law was meant to help uninsured get coverage, not cancel policies folks liked. President made the right decision today." -- Twitter

Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Lakeland: “The president had been saying that any proposed change to the law would be a non-starter. Now he is suggesting a change despite lambasting all previous efforts by Congress to make these necessary changes. Why is he only willing to come to the negotiating table on his terms? His offer today to allow the insurance companies to continue to provide plans originally banned in Obamacare is a seemingly good start, but doesn’t negate the fact that even if insurance companies allow Americans to keep their current plan, come 2015, the insurance companies will drop these plans again. The best way to fix this law is to replace it with one that is actually consumer-focused and market-driven.”

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston (speaking as chair of DNC): “The President’s plan to allow insurers to offer their 2013 plans in 2014 is straightforward and fair – it will allow consumers to keep their plans if they like them. As a result of the President’s actions, consumers will have additional choices and the information they need to make an informed decision about their health care. The President and Democrats are willing– and eager– to work with anyone to ensure that the Affordable Care Act works for everyone. But while Democrats are committed to addressing challenges and ensuring that the law works, Republicans remain committed to repealing and gutting the law, regardless of its consequences. The GOP has failed to present any ideas of their own but instead they continue to confuse and obstruct. We saw Republicans campaign unsuccessfully on a platform to gut Obamacare in 2012 and 2013, and just last month they shut down the government trying to do just that.  Republican Governors have consistently put partisan ideology over what’s best for the people of their states, and by blocking the Medicaid expansion they are preventing over 5 million more Americans from accessing healthcare. The American people have and will continue to reject the GOP’s gut and repeal approach.”

Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach: “I welcome the President’s announcement and look forward to the healthcare website being fixed. We should not go back to the days when insurance companies denied coverage for pre-existing conditions and dropped coverage for folks when they got sick.”

Florida House Democratic Leader Perry Thurston reacted to Gov. Scott: “The Republican governor might want to take caution when accusing others of kicking cans down the road. It could be argued by many working Florida families that it’s been Governor Scott who has been kicking the middle class in the gut by sitting on the sidelines instead of delivering affordable health care to Floridians. Florida has the second highest rate of uninsured in America with millions of uninsured residents, so I am proud that President Obama continues to take positive action to help Floridians attain the health coverage they deserve and need.”


[Last modified: Thursday, November 14, 2013 5:28pm]


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