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AFP airs ads thanking GOP lawmakers for refusing to expand health care in Florida

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The Florida Legislature’s failure last week to come to an agreement on redrawing the state’s congressional maps was just the latest example of state Republicans unable to come together.

A battle over Medicaid expansion roiled the Legislature for most of its Regular Session this spring. Nearly everyone in the state Senate supported proposals that would have expanded Medicaid and provided health care coverage to hundreds of thousands of low-income residents, but the House of Representatives remained resolute in its opposition. And despite the support of usual allies in the business community such as the Florida Chamber of Commerce, the House again refused to entertain an option during the first Special Session, held in June.

That opposition is very much appreciated by Koch Brothers-financed Americans for Prosperity. To show its support, the group today announced it’s launching a two-week long ad campaign featuring TV, digital and mail to praise the 72 lawmakers who the group says, “stood up for taxpayers and patients against special interests who pushed to bring Obama‘s Medicaid expansion to the Sunshine State.”

“Families, patients, and taxpayers should thank and congratulate the 72 members of the Legislature for being champions on this critically important issue,” state director Chris Hudson said in a prepared statement. “We are committed to holding elected officials accountable to their constituents. In this case, these members deserve to hear from their communities for standing strong against the usual pressures of powerful lobbyists and special interests.”

AFP says the 30-second ads will run both on television and the Internet, and that direct mail pieces will also be sent to Floridians later this week. There are five versions of the ad. The one below is to be aired in the Tampa Bay area, and it features local Republicans like Jeff Brandes, Richard Corcoran, Dana Young, Larry Ahern, Chris Sprowls and Jamie Grant.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at

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