Addressing a town hall in his district, a Republican congressman from Florida was unable to defend his party’s failure to offer an alternative health plan to the Affordable Health Care Act, calling their efforts “absurd.”
Speaking from the back of the room, a constituent listed features of the new healthcare law, asking Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL) why repealing them would be a good idea.
“You’ve voted to repeal it approximately 50 times. Had zero votes on a replacement,” the unidentified man asked. “So my question is, why do you think it is so good to deny seniors on Part D to make them pay more, about $4,000 more for medicine, and people with pre-existing conditions get denied insurance, have 26-year-olds have a harder time getting insurance because they can’t get on their parents’? Why do you think those are good ideas?”
“I think one of the most unfortunate things my party did the last three years was not offer an alternative to health care,” Ross responded. “I’ve always felt that way. I think it’s absurd when I tell people that this isn’t what you should do, but I don’t have an alternative for you.”
Ross continued by explaining that he had proposed a patient healthcare bill that would cover pre-existing conditions, permit the interstate sale of insurance, and allow for health saving accounts saying, “I think these are good ideas, I would support them.”
Ross then admitted, “My party decided to not bring anything up.”
Explaining that the party’s refusal to submit a healthcare plan could impact their fortunes at the ballot box, Ross continued, saying he “wished they had an alternative.”
“I wish we had an alternative. It would make — you know what’s unfortunate? for the next six months, we’re going to go into an election knowing that we’re not going to do anything to address health care. Because we’ve gone so far in the last three years saying no, that we don’t have an alternative to say yes to, ” he said, adding, “I think the American public, when they go to vote, are going to look at credibility before they look at substance, and I think that’s going to have a play in it.”
Tom Boggioni is based in the quaint seaside community of Pacific Beach in less quaint San Diego. He writes about politics, media, culture, and other annoyances. Mostly he spends his days at the beach gazing at the horizon waiting for the end of the world, or the sun to go down. Whichever comes first.
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