Two Florida congressmen being targeted in the 2014 midterm elections were among 39 Democrats who broke with their party on Friday in passing the Keep Your Health Plan Act, a bill aimed squarely at the president’s Obamacare law.
All of the state’s Republican representatives voted for the bill.
Rep. Patrick Murphy of Jupiter, who co-sponsored the bill, and Rep. Joe Garcia of Miami were the two Democrats.
In an email, Murphy spokeswoman Erin Moffet Hale said partisanship was not the issue in Friday’s vote.
“Whether it’s a Republican or Democratic plan or a legislative or administrative fix, the congressman remains focused on a solution to allow people to keep their health-care plans if they like their current coverage,” she wrote.
Garcia’s office did not respond to a BizPac Review message.
But the National Republican Congressional Committee issued statements blasting both Democrats.
“Patrick Murphy has been one of Obamacare’s biggest supporters – he has defended Obamacare and voted to keep the law,” NRCC Communications Director Andrea Bozek said in a statement.
“With Obamacare proving to be a total disaster – from the botched website to the broken promises – it’s no surprise that Murphy is now desperate to hide his support. But it’s too late – Patrick Murphy is part of the problem. Because of his support for Obamacare, things are only going to get worse for Florida families.”
In part of an identically worded statement, Bozek hit Garcia.
“No matter what this Washington politician says, Joe Garcia voted to keep Obamacare the law of the land,” the statement said.
“Garcia is part of the problem, and it’s because of him that Obamacare has been such a total disaster for the American people.”
Friday’s 261-to-157 vote on a bill sponsored Rep. Fred Upton, R-Ill., to allow Americans to keep health-insurance policies that do not comply with the standards imposed by Obamacare – such as maternity coverage for men and for women beyond child-bearing years — was largely symbolic.
On Thursday, President Obama announced an administrative plan that would allow such policies to remain in effect for another year. Besides, the bill would not have been brought for a vote in the Democratic-controlled Senate, and Obama had vowed to veto it in any case.
Still, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said it was “a big, bipartisan statement about the need to make things right” with the havoc Obamacare is wreaking with Americans who were promised by the president they could keep health-care plans they liked but are now finding out that wasn’t true.
“The president broke his word, had a chance to fix the problem, and only did more damage to his credibility,” Boehner said in a statement.
“The Keep Your Health Plan Act represents an important step toward providing relief to those who have lost their plans and face much higher premiums, but the real solution is to scrap the president’s fundamentally flawed health care law and focus on effective, patient-centered reforms that will protect all Americans from this train wreck.”
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