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Gus Bilirakis all in on GOP health care proposal

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Gus Bilirakis is sticking to his guns.

After holding three town hall meetings earlier this year, the Tarpon Springs Republican congressman heard strong (and on occasion, impassioned) comments by some constituents urging him not support a repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act.

But Bilirakis stayed consistently clear that he supported killing Obamacare.

So, it should not come as a surprise to anyone that he intends to support the House Republican health care plan when it comes up for a vote later this week.

“The American Health Care Act is the best answer to replace the unsustainable Affordable Care Act and put our nation’s health care system on a viable path,” he said in a statement released Monday. “It will lower premiums, save taxpayers billions of dollars, and give patients more options for care. I do believe more must be done within the bill to help Americans in their 50s and 60s with health care costs, and I recently brought these concerns to House leadership and committee members.”

In his heated town hall meetings held in New Port Richey, Oldsmar and Wesley Chapel, Bilirakis faced strong opposition for his support to repeal the ACA. He won media plaudits by standing the rhetorical line of fire from impassioned advocates for maintaining the current health care law.

But Bilirakis was steadfast in saying he would support a Republican health care alternative, once offered up. And he says he will fight for lower costs.

“Throughout this legislative process, which began in January, I’ve held three in-person town halls, a telephone town hall, a roundtable discussion and numerous one-on-one constituent meetings in my district,” he said.

“I consistently fought to make sure my constituents’ views are represented in the American Health Care Act, namely the need to lower costs, increase choices, protect those with pre-existing conditions, keep children on their parent’s insurance, and more,” Bilirakis added. “As the bill comes up for a vote in the House this week, I will continue these efforts to ensure we better assist the millions of Americans who are not yet eligible for Medicare.”

The bill is on the schedule of the House of Representatives for a vote Thursday.


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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