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Gus Bilirakis named to key house health-care panel

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis has been appointed to serve on the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, a key congressional panel with jurisdiction over the repeal and replacement of Obamacare, as well as oversight of medical research and public health issues.

“I’m honored to have been selected to serve on this important subcommittee, where I will be working with my colleagues to solve the biggest problems facing our nation’s health care system,” said Bilirakis, a Tarpon Springs Republican. “I look forward to gathering input from constituents and stakeholders from Florida’s 12th District every step of the way. After all, we need to focus on empowering patients, not Washington, D.C.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan said: “Gus’s dedication to conservative health care solutions will help put Florida and the nation on the right path toward affordable, patient-centered care. As a member of Energy and Commerce’s health subcommittee, Gus will play a critical role in making our plan to repeal and replace Obamacare a reality—I’m glad he’ll be at the front lines.”

In a speech on the House floor, Bilirakis said, “Families across Florida are feeling the burden of Obamacare. Premiums have skyrocketed an average of 19 percent in our state, and insurers are fleeing the market left and right.

“In fact, 73 percent of counties in Florida only have one insurance provider, leaving people with higher costs and less choice when it comes to their health care. House Republicans are offering solid solutions to make our nation’s health care system work for everyone, without pulling the rug out from anybody’s feet. We’re focused on a more affordable, more personalized health care plan that empowers patients, not Washington.”

In the 114th Congress, Bilirakis helped author major legislation on the Health Subcommittee, such as the 21st Century Cures Act, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, and bills to boost research for patients with rare disease, neurological, and congenital heart defects. The panel additionally has jurisdiction over Medicare and Medicaid reform, and Food and Drug Administration policy.

Bilirakis was also appointed to the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology and the Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection.

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