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Florida Voter Confronts GOP Representative On His Repeated Efforts To Repeal Obamacare

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"Florida Voter Confronts GOP Representative On His Repeated Efforts To Repeal Obamacare"

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Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL) at a Tampa town hall meeting.

Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL) at a Tampa town hall meeting.

CREDIT: Scott Keyes

TAMPA, Florida — A Florida voter had harsh words for Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL) at a town hall Tuesday, admonishing the congressman for his repeated efforts to repeal Obamacare and its bevy of benefits. Ross conceded that his party should have worked to offer an alternative health reform policy to preserve benefits for newly insured Americans.

Noting that Ross and the Republican Party have now voted more than 50 times to repeal Obamacare, the constituent took the Florida GOPer to task. “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’?” the voter asked. “Why do you think those are good ideas?”

Despite voting to roll back such protections, Ross said he doesn’t actually think doing so is a good idea. He went on to chastise his own party for not offering any replacement health care bill. “I think one of the most unfortunate things my party did the last three years was not offer an alternative to health care,” Ross said, calling the move “absurd.”

CONSTITUENT: You’ve voted to repeal it approximately 50 times. Had zero votes on a replacement. 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?

ROSS: I don’t. I think one of the most unfortunate things my party did the last three years was not offer an alternative to health care. 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.

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Now that Obamacare is fully implemented, it’s leading to falling uninsurance rates, lower premiums, and more preventative care, particularly for women. The number of Americans enrolling in Obamacare’s health care exchange has exceeded expectations and topped seven million.

House Republicans have repeatedly promised to unveil an Obamacare replacement plan that will preserve the most popular benefits in the law. But it’s been difficult for the party to unite around one health policy plan, and the legislation keeps getting delayed. Ross isn’t alone in his frustration. Even Fox News has demanded to know why the GOP hasn’t released an alternative yet.

Earlier this month, House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) admitted that even if Republicans do eventually put forth an Obamacare alternative, they will not be able to preserve the law’s most popular aspects if they repeal it as a whole.

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