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After Supreme Court Decision, Bill Nelson and Connie Mack Spar Over Health Care

June 27, 2012 - 6:00pm

With the Supreme Court deciding on Thursday to uphold most of the federal health-care law that President Barack Obama signed in 2010, the issue moves to the center stage of the close battle in Florida as Democrat U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson looks to win a third term.

Nelson, who voted for the health-care law back in 2010, doubled down on his support of it on Thursday after the court ruled to uphold it.

A lot of us feel the health-care law wasnt perfect, Nelson said. But it was needed. Our system was broken and we had to do something. Insurance companies were refusing to cover people or dropping those who got sick. So, we passed legislation to prevent insurers from running roughshod over people.And today, the Supreme Court upheld most of these reforms.Now, I think its time we finish the job of fixing our economy and creating more jobs.

Nelson ranks as one of the Democrat incumbents targeted by the National Republican Senate Committee (NRSC) and that group made clear that they will make health care an issue as he seeks a third term.

The Supreme Courts decision makes clear that Bill Nelson was not telling the truth when he promised that his massive health-care bill would not increase taxes on Florida families and small businesses, said Jahan Wilcox, a spokesman for the NRSC, on Thursday. The stakes are now clear in this election the only way to stop the massive tax increases, government spending and cuts to Medicare contained in Obamacare is to replace liberal Bill Nelson in Washington.

The Republican candidates battling in the August primary also took aim at Nelson on Thursday.

U.S. Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fla., the heavy favorite to win the Republican nomination in the August primary as the GOP determines who will challenge Nelson in November, ripped into his potential Democrat incumbent on Thursday.

"Bill Nelson cast the deciding vote on the largest tax ever placed on the American people and he will be held accountable in November by all Floridians, Mack said. Obamacare not only kills jobs, burdens families and runs up our already-massive debt, it oversteps its bounds by stripping Americans of their freedoms and mandating compliance with a government edict by calling the law a tax.

Not only was Bill Nelson an unrelenting champion of the government takeover of health care, he cast the deciding vote on the most obscene new tax in our nations history $525 billion according to the Congressional Budget Office, with implementation cost now double the original $900 billion estimate, Mack continued. "When he cast the deciding vote for Obamacare, Bill Nelson said this 'would help reduce the nation's deficit.' Bill Nelson knew this was a tax, supported it and has put our nation on the road to Greece.Shame on you, Senator Nelson.

The people of Florida dont want and cant afford Bill Nelsons lockstep liberal ways, Mack said in conclusion. Obamacare must be repealed and replaced.Enough is enough.

Mack has a strong lead in the polls over his opponents for the Republican nomination, including former U.S. Rep. Dave Weldon and businessman and retired Army officer Mike McCalister.

Both Nelson and Mack looked to use the decision to spur their fundraising on Thursday.

Nelson weighed in on the decision in an email sent out to supporters on Thursday as he looks to fundraise before the end of the second quarter on Saturday.

Today's Supreme Court ruling upholding health care reform means insurance companies can no longer cancel your policy if you get sick, Nelson wrote. It means you won't be denied care or charged more due to a pre-existing condition. And it means your children can stay on the family's policy until they're 26.Those are just a few of the protections in the health care law the Court ruled to be constitutional.

Nelson ripped into the right-wing extremists" who took to the airwaves and Internet to attack the decision -- and to blast anyone, including me, who dared disagree with them. He added that he thought todays ruling was a victory for people over special interests.

The Mack camp also sent out an email hammering Nelson on health-care to supporters on Thursday. Sources close to the Mack campaign insisted that the Republican candidate was generating increased web traffic and donations after the decision was unveiled on Thursday.

Reach Kevin Derby at or at (850) 727-0859.

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