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Statement By:
Barney Bishop III, President and CEO, Associated Industries of Florida

Regarding U.S. Rep. Boyd’s & U.S. Rep. Suzanne Kosmas’ Responsible Votes Against the National Health Care Plan

November 10, 2009

“Last week, two Florida Democrats broke from party lines and voted against the national health care plan that will have substantial impacts on the bottom line of Florida employers. Although the bill was ultimately strong-armed through the Democratic-controlled House, U.S. Rep. Allen Boyd (D) and U.S. Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (D) voted on the substance of the bill and rightfully decided to vote the measure down. Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) has stood in opposition to this radical health care reform proposal, which was accelerated through the legislative process without consideration of the consequences and additional costs incurred by the business community and consumers alike. AIF recently met with both Rep. Boyd and Rep. Kosmas in Washington, D.C., on this issue and we appreciate their taking the time to listen to our concerns.

They wisely took a step back and examined the repercussions of the health care plan – especially the costly penalties it contains for businesses that cannot comply with the plan’s provisions. Our state is still feeling the squeeze of the recession and has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. Florida’s small businesses are simply not equipped to cover these costs right now. Worse, this bill is a job-killer; hamstringing employers from hiring new employees or retaining current employees in an effort to make up the costs associated with health care. For any sort of health care reform to work, options must be presented that will preserve and strengthen the employer-based system, as well as the private insurance marketplace.

Both Rep. Boyd and Rep. Kosmas chose to vote down the legislation in hopes of developing a new health care package that would better serve Floridians. AIF applauds their commitment to crafting the best policy for our nation and state despite party politics. As the Senate meets to debate the merits and consequences of the health care plan, AIF encourages Florida’s leaders to follow their bipartisan example and consider what this plan could mean to their constituents.”