The two men who represent the state of Florida in the “Upper Chamber,” are not yet sold on the new Senate health care bill.
Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio told the media that he will decide whether to support a Republican health care bill “on the basis of how it impacts Florida,” his office said this afternoon.
Here is the complete statement that Sen. Rubio’s office released to the press.
“Senator Rubio will decide how to vote on health care on the basis of how it impacts Florida. He has already spoken to Governor Scott, Senate President Negron and Speaker Corcoran about the first draft of this proposal. He has instructed his staff to share with state leaders the first draft and has asked them to run numbers and provide input on how this initial proposal would impact Florida’s Medicaid program and individual insurance marketplace. He has invited them to send staff to Washington next week to help us formulate changes and amendments to this proposal. He will continue to reach out for input and suggested changes from Florida providers, insurers and patient advocate groups.”
As most know by now, the Republicans hold a 52-seat majority in the Senate, so more than two GOP defections will doom the bill if Democrats are united against it.
On the Democratic side Florida’s senior man in Washington, Sen. Bill Nelson, who’s up for re-election next year, saw that this could be the issue that could be at the top of his talking point list. He went after the Republican’s hard.
His release to the media was very clear in why he will never embrace the Senate bill.
“Now we know why they tried to keep this secret,” Nelson said in a statement released by his office. “This bill is just as bad as the House bill, taking coverage away from millions of people and making huge cuts to Medicaid. If that weren’t enough, it also allows insurance companies to hike rates for older Americans. Fixing our nation’s health care system shouldn’t be a partisan issue. We should be working together, not plotting behind closed doors to make it worse.”
According to both the Palm Beach Post and the Associated Press are reporting that Sen. Rubio has had early discussions the key players in the Sunshine State. Those key players he spoke with are Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, and House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land-O’Lakes.
Sen. Rubio, expects to also speak to Florida based hospital groups as well as health care providers, insurers and patient advocates. He expects to spend a great time in his offices both in Florida as well as in Washington talking to as many people involved in the process as possible.