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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

All Florida Republicans vote for Obamacare replacement, except Ros-Lehtinen

House Speaker Paul Ryan in March

The Associated Press

House Speaker Paul Ryan in March

UPDATE: The House has voted and every Florida Republican supported the bill except Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Miami.

Most interesting were the votes of fellow Miami Reps. Carlos Curbelo and Mario Diaz-Balart, as Miami has a significant number of Obamacare recepients. Both issued lengthy statements explaining their decisions -- and stressing the bill will get changed by the Senate.

Curbelo's vote was watched nationally and as voting began his office said he was undecided -- which wasn't the case as right after the vote he released video statements in English and Spanish. (A spokeswoman said, "We drafted releases for different outcomes to ensure an immediate explanation of his decision would be available when he made it.")

“Today’s vote is just a step in the legislative process for this bill – not the end of it," Curbelo said. "We have worked hard to improve the legislation, but we have a long way to go. I have received assurances that the concerns I maintain will be addressed in the Senate, and for weeks I have been in contact with several offices there to make sure we are working collaboratively. A major priority is to increase the resources available to lower-income Americans and those approaching the age of retirement. I will continue listening to my constituents, doctors, health professionals, and other experts to make sure our decisions are as informed as possible. I approach this issue with a great deal of care and sobriety. For me this isn’t about ideology, partisan politics or presidential legacies, it is simply about building a sustainable healthcare system that empowers every American to make the best decisions for themselves and their families, and supports the neediest in our society. It's about putting patient interests first and above the special and government interests that have controlled the healthcare system for far too long. Now this process continues.”

Diaz-Balart: “While this bill may be far from perfect, I am glad I was able to work with my colleagues to get significant improvements to the American Health Care Act, including:

·  $8 billion dedicated to reduce premiums and out-of-pocket costs for patients with pre-existing conditions, in addition to the $130 billion available to states to cut out-of-pocket costs like premiums and deductibles

· Protecting Medicaid by reforming it to make sure it is on a sustainable path

·  An additional $15 billion for maternity coverage and newborn care, and mental health and substance abuse disorders

“I will work with our colleagues in the Senate as they consider the legislation." Diaz-Balart said. "I will also continue working with HHS Secretary Price and members of the administration to provide relief from the disastrous effects of Obamacare and ensure the AHCA truly serves the needs of my constituents and the American people.”

WASHINGTON - The U.S. House today is poised to vote on the GOP health care alternative to Obamacare.

Here is where Florida Republicans stand as of this morning.

Gus Bilirakis: ?

Vern Buchanan: ?

Carlos Curbelo: ?

Ron DeSantis: ?

Mario Diaz-Balart: ?

Neal Dunn: Yes.

Matt Gaetz: Yes.

Brian Mast: Yes.

Bill Posey: ?

Tom Rooney: ?

Francis Rooney: Yes.

"The plan being voted on today in the House of Representatives is a conservative, patient-centric, free enterprise healthcare solution that provides choice and competition. Despite what some on the left are contending, coverage for pre-existing conditions will remain. The ability for individual states to tailor their guidelines to meet the needs of their residents is a critical element of reforming our health care system, and it is what our Constitution intends for powers not expressly delegated to the federal government.”

Dennis Ross: ?

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen:  No.

“Despite amendments and changes, the AHCA still fails to provide for the needs of my constituents. I will not support a bill that has the potential to severely harm the health and lives of people in South Florida and therefore I remain steadfast in my commitment to vote NO on the AHCA. The recent addition of further funds to high risk pools continues to be inadequate and fails to cover those who need it most. If enacted, the older and poorer South Floridians will be worse off and will find it more difficult to obtain quality healthcare. My constituents should not have to take a step backward in their ability to obtain treatment for any illness and thus, I will vote NO.”

John Rutherford: ?

Daniel Webster: Yes.

“I have been very concerned about Florida's Medicaid-funded nursing home beds. These are critical to the access some of our senior population has to our nursing homes. I have spoken with President Trump, Vice President Pence, House leadership, administration officials and Floridians at length about my concerns. They realize that this is a problem and President Trump, Vice President Pence and House leadership have committed to find a solution to ensure Florida is equipped to serve one of our most vulnerable. With these assurances I am now supporting the bill."

Ted Yoho: Yes.

[Last modified: Thursday, May 4, 2017 5:37pm]


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