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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.

Wasserman Schultz Plans Fixes To Affordable Care Act, Speaks Out On Firing Of IT Staffer

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz addresses reporters at Nova Southeastern University in Davie on Aug. 22, 2017.
Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz addresses reporters at Nova Southeastern University in Davie on Aug. 22, 2017.

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is moving forward to address problems with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) despite ongoing attempts by Republicans to repeal and replace it.

Wasserman Schultz met with an advisory panel of South Florida healthcare providers at Nova Southeastern University in Davie Tuesday to hear their concerns with the ACA and proposed solutions.

Bipartisan members of Congress are busy working on ways to fix the ACA, even if  the effort is not officially sanctioned, she said.

“Making sure that there are options available to debate and discuss is really important,” said Wasserman Schultz. “We can’t just sit and wait for the next terrible legislation and repeal effort that comes forward.”

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz meets with an advisory panel of South Florida healthcare providers at Nova Southeastern University in Davie on Aug. 22, 2017.
Credit Peter Haden / WLRN
Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz meets with an advisory panel of South Florida healthcare providers at Nova Southeastern University in Davie on Aug. 22, 2017.

The congresswoman also spoke publicly for the first time on the firing of her former information technology aide, Imran Awan, after he and his wife were indicted on bank fraud charges.

In February, news reports surfaced that Awan, originally from Pakistan, was suspected of stealing information from computers of Democratic members of Congress.

Wasserman Schultz said she kept Awan on her payroll long after he had been fired by other Democrats because she was concerned he was being treated unfairly.

“I was concerned about racial, ethnic and religious profiling,” she said. “Once he was arrested and charged with a crime, I was satisfied that he was getting the due process that he needed and I terminated him.”

The congresswoman also called for removal of all Confederate monuments in the United States.

“Anything that has put a Confederate participant in a place of honor causes pain for individuals who faced hundreds of years of enslavement and torture,” she said. “They fought in the name of keeping people enslaved. That’s un-American.”

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