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LeMieux: Thumbs down on new Senate healthcare proposal/Nelson calls it a "good start"

Here's what Sen. George LeMieux says about the health care proposal released yesterday by Sen. Max Baucus.

"I cannot and will not support any health care plan that cuts health care for seniors in Florida. According to the independent, nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the Baucus proposal takes more than 400 billion dollars away from Medicare and Medicare Advantage – a program that allows 916,000 Florida seniors to have enhanced health care coverage.

"I remain open-minded that a health care proposal can be reached that will reduce costs and increase access to health care for those who are uninsured, while protecting the quality of care for all Americans."

Florida Sen. Bill Nelson who has drawn criticism from some quarters for not engaging in the health care debate said Wednesday on the Senate floor, he considers the bill "a good start."

"It's going to hold the insurance companies' feet to the fire to require them to cover everyone and prevent them from dropping people when they get sick," Nelson said.

But Nelson said he finds troubling a provision that could lead to benefit cuts for seniors who currently rely on Medicare Advantage plans, and he intends to offer an amendment that will protect, or grandfather them in.

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