23 Sep Florida conflict on health care law divides voters
By William E. Gibson, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON —Phyllis Kaufman is a lifelong Democrat in Tamarac who might vote for Republican Mitt Romney in November, partly because she shares his belief that the new health-care law is a costly giveaway to freeloaders.
andra Sullivan is a Republican in Orlando who might vote for President Barack Obama, mostly because the new law covers cancer survivors like her, as well as other patients with pre-existing health problems.
Moving in opposite directions, these two Floridians reflect voters’ conflicting opinions about health care in this election year. It’s an especially important issue in a state where 3.9 million residents are uninsured, 3.5 million are covered by Medicare and 3.2 million depend on Medicaid.
Voters have a clear choice between Obama, who counts the Affordable Care Act as his signature legislative achievement, and Romney, who vows to try to repeal the law starting “on day one” while retaining some of its most popular provisions.
Florida itself embodies that conflict: The state so far has refused any steps to implement the new law yet could be among its biggest beneficiaries.