Fla. Dems Blast US Senate Health Bill

Updated: 7/18/2017 7:23:15 AM
ORLANDO, FLA. -- U.S. Senate Republicans released their latest revision of a bill that would repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it Thursday.

Critics were quick to deliver blistering observations, saying the bill had only cosmetic changes from its predecessors and that it was just as flawed as they were

Chris King, Democratic candidate for Governor, posted the following statement on Facebook in response to the bill.

"The latest version of the Senate's health care bill is just the same devastating attack on Florida's families as the last version," King's statement read. "It's still an attack on the most vulnerable among us, including seniors, low-income families, and folks with pre-existing conditions."

King went on to note that the bill makes drastic cuts to Medicaid, which would prove especially damaging to children and the elderly.

He noted that the measure allows insurance companies to offer so-called "bare bones" health plans that cover less than the bare minimum required under the Affordable Care Act.

Florida Democratic U.S. Senator Bill Nelson released a statement describing the latest bill as "just as bad as the previous versions."

Nelson said the measure allows insurance companies to hike rates for older Americans and will take coverage away from millions of people.

He concluded, "We need to be working together to improve our nation's health care system, not make it worse. If approved, this bill will hurt a lot of Floridians and for that reason alone, I will oppose it."

The health advocacy outfit Families USA offered its own assessment of the measure, saying it would drastically restructure and defund Medicaid, take away coverage from tens-of-millions of people, and drive up health care costs for millions more.

It noted that, significantly, the bill includes provisions that completely undermine protections for people with preexisting conditions by allowing sick and healthy individuals to segregate into different insurance products.

Frederick Isasi, executive director of Families USA, issued a statement saying the newest proposal was "the worst yet."

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office is expected to score the bill and release its estimate next week.