The U.S. House of Representatives will vote on the “Trumpcare” Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act Thursday — are the Tampa Bay area Republican members of Congress on board? It’s pretty difficult to say, since many of them did not respond when WMNF News reached out to them.
Congress members Dennis Ross and Vern Buchanan did not respond at all to phone calls and emails.
Tom Rooney’s office said he is not available for an interview and did not respond when asked his position on the AHCA.
A Gus Bilirakis spokesperson said he was not available for an interview but wrote “The Congressman supports AHCA as a more viable path but views it as a work-in-progress.”
Daniel Webster was not available either, but a spokesperson wrote “at this time he is undecided, he is reviewing all the changes to see if they’ve addressed areas he was particularly concerned about.”
Supporters of Obamacare are rallying Thursday in front of Congress member Gus Bilirakis’ Tarpon Springs office. It begins at 11:00 a.m. at 38500 US Highway 19 North and is being called “Fight like Health!!! ACA Birthday Protest.”
Bilirakis’ spokesperson responded to news of the rally: “The Congressman always welcomes his constituents expressing their views. That is what a representative democracy is all about.”
She added, “after holding these town halls and events, he acted on the calls from constituents to maintain some of the popular provisions of Obamacare in AHCA. He fought for provisions like maintaining protections on pre-existing conditions, keeping children on their parent’s insurance, eliminating lifetime caps on care, and more.”
Over in the Senate, the Tampa Bay Times says Florida Republican Marco Rubio told Jacksonville radio station WOKV that he has not decided about the Ryan / Trump health care bill.
Democrats in Congress seem fairly united against the repeal of Obamacare. Tampa Democrat Kathy Castor took to the House floor Wednesday morning to speak against the American Health Care Act, which would repeal and replace Obamacare.