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Health News Florida
Healthy State tells the stories you need to know to stay well, with a special focus on Florida.We'll bring you the latest fitness trends, new research on preventing and treating disease, and information about how health policy impacts your pocketbook.We report on health using all the tools at our disposal -- video, audio, photos and text -- to bring these stories to life.Healthy State is a project of WUSF Public Media in Tampa and is heard on public radio stations throughout Florida. It also is available online at wusfnews.org.

Activists Push Rubio To Maintain Obamacare Protections

Patricia Byrd
Patricia Byrd
Patricia Byrd
Credit Nick Evans
Patricia Byrd

Activists statewide are urging U.S. Senator Marco Rubio reject a controversial healthcare overhaul approved earlier this month by the House.  They showed up Tuesday at the Republican’s offices throughout the state.

At Rubio’s office in the Florida capitol, a small knot of protesters gathered to share their Obamacare stories.  Florida State University grad student Haley Gentile believes requirements in the Affordable Care Act have kept her fully covered.

“In sum the affordable care act has ensured I’ve had access to healthcare when I needed it the most,” Gentile says.  “No other person should be denied the chance to achieve their goals as I have.”

Haley Gentile
Credit Nick Evans
Haley Gentile

“The AHCA’s pick-and-choose, repeal-and-replace approach undermines the principles and commitments that motivated the initial passage of the ACA,” she goes on.

Gentile worries the House GOP-backed American Healthcare Act will allow insurers to skimp on coverage, or price her out of her current plan. 

Patricia Byrd of Panama City argues provisions in the bill will hurt people with pre-existing conditions—like her son.

“As a practical matter, pre-existing conditions would again prevent millions of Americans from obtaining the private sector coverage Obamacare sought to provide,” Byrd says.  “Once again my son would be a part of this travesty.”

Doctors found a non-malignant tumor on the frontal lobe of her son’s brain when he was in college. 

He’s 52 now.  

Byrd says her family struggled for decades to keep him covered before lawmakers approved the ACA.

But the new measure approved in the House carries waiver provisions that could allow states to opt out of basic benefit and pricing mandates.  The Congressional Budget Office zeroed in on those waivers noting they could lead to high premiums for people with preexisting conditions.  

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