Republican Congresswoman Stands With Seniors Against Trumpcare

One Florida Republican is standing up against Paul Ryan’s ageist and punitive healthcare act as inadequate to protect seniors and the poor.

Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida is taking a firm stand against Paul Ryan’s war against decent, affordable care for the poor and seniors. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has rejected the repeal and replace act outright and isn’t making any secret of it.

Rep. Ros-Lehtinen, whose district includes southeast Miami-Dade County, issued a statement to the Miami Herald expressing her distaste for the new American Health Care Act.

“After studying the impact of this proposed legislation on my district and speaking with many of my constituents, I have decided to vote no on the bill as currently written. The bill’s consequences for South Florida are clear: too many of my constituents will lose insurance and there will be less funds to help the poor and elderly with their healthcare.”

As of January, Rep. Ros-Lehtinen’s district had the largest number of Obamacare enrollees in the country, approximately 96,300.

Ros-Lehtinen still isn’t a fan of the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, but says the AHCA is simply inhumane:

“I voted to repeal Obamacare many times because it was not the right fix for our broken healthcare system and did not live up to its promise to the American people but this plan is not the replacement South Florida needs. We should work together to write a bipartisan bill that works for our community and our nation without hurting the elderly and disadvantaged among us.”

Ros-Lehtinen also announced her intention to vote against the plan to constituents via Twitter:

“I plan to vote NO on the current #AHCA bill. As written the plan leaves too many from my #SoFla district uninsured (1/2)”

“As #AHCA stands, it will cut much needed help for #SoFla’s poor + elderly populations. Need a plan that will do more to protect them (2/2)”

Sometimes snarkily referred to as “the elephant’s graveyard,” Florida’s reputation as the state with the highest percentage of seniors pans out with actual data. According to Pew Research, 19.1 percent of Florida’s population is made up of seniors — those 65 and older — with some Florida counties comprising half or nearly half of their residents cruising in the retirement zone.

And that’s just those who are eligible for Medicare. Florida’s “mature” population also includes older adults, 50 to 64, who are still actively employed or running a business. Even before retirement, many middle-aged Americans gravitate to the Sunshine State for its mild climate and regulatory ease of running a small business. In 2010, the Florida Office of Economic and Demographic Research announced that 27 percent of Floridians were aged 45 to 64, and estimated that by the year 2020, nearly 50 percent of Floridians will be 45 and older.

Jeff Johnson, the AARP state director, spoke to the Tampa Bay Times about the devastating impact that the GOP plan with its “age tax” will have on Florida.

“People think everyone is 85 and playing golf but Florida has a very large baby boomer population. Some of them still have kids in college. Just about all of them are still in the workforce.”

Soon, Florida will have a pretty substantial Generation X population, as well as Baby Boomers, and Florida politicians would do well to remember that when passing legislation that threatens half of the state population’s sense of stability, such as deregulating 401ks or cutting Social Security and Medicare. As both generations age into retirement, Florida may be turn out to be ground zero for the next resurgence of the Democratic Party.

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