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The health care bill and the November election: A preview

As soon as the votes were recorded on the health care bill, the attacks were flying, with Democrats and Republicans suggesting their November lines of attack. Democrats were first out of the gate with releases targeting, among others, Mario Diaz-Balart, Vern Buchanan and Lincoln Diaz-Balart (though he won't be on the ballot in November.) They're accused of turning their backs on the middle class and sticking with insurance companies.

Republicans followed with attacks targeting, among others, Ron Klein, Suzanne Kosmas and Alan Grayson. They're accused of serving as rubber stamps for Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi.

The Democrats' spin: "Today, the House of Representatives took historic action by passing health insurance reform. But rather than vote to help middle class families, seniors, and small businesses finally afford coverage while reducing the deficit by more than a trillion dollars over 20 years, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart sided with the big health insurance companies instead.

And a quote from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's Jennifer Crider: "For decades, big health insurance companies have profited off discrimination and denials and pricing middle class families out of the care they need but that didn’t stop Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart from continuing to side with insurance companies. Diaz-Balart refused to give folks back home access to the same health care that he gets as a Member of Congress. After taking $77,036 in contributions from insurance companies, it’s outrageous that Diaz-Balart would put insurance company profits before helping middle class families and small businesses afford coverage, closing the Medicare prescription drug donut hole, and reducing the deficit by more than a trillion dollars over the next two decades."  

Diaz-Balart, in a statement, said he backs reform but that the bill "will take our country down the path of bankruptcy.

"Today Democrat leadership abused and manipulated the legislative process in order to force an eventual government takeover of health care upon the American people," he said. "They drafted this legislation in secret, loading it with backroom deals for Members of their choice and prioritizing the needs of special interests, not the American people."

Republicans targeted Ron Klein, Suzanne Kosmas and Alan Grayson, accusing the trio of giving "rubber-stamps" to a "Trillion-Dollar Government Takeover of Healthcare.

The Republican spin: "Despite a myriad of polls showing that a vote in favor of a government takeover of healthcare would be directly at odds with the interests and values of his constituents, Ron Klein, instead chose to stand with President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Klein's decision to back a bill that fails to lower the cost of healthcare, will likely come at a steep political cost in November. Not only did Klein
rubber-stamp hundreds of billions of dollars in new taxes, Medicare cuts, runaway spending and unprecedented government control, his support for this toxic bill will negatively impact small businesses that are struggling to hire in the midst of a tough economic climate.

 And the quote from the National Republican Congressional Committee's Ken Spain: "By ignoring the overwhelming majority of his constituents, and voting in favor of Nancy Pelosi’s government takeover of healthcare, Ron Klein has fueled a level of anger and frustration within the constituency he claims to represent. Voting for hundreds of billions of dollars in spending, tax hikes, Medicare cuts, and unprecedented government control over our healthcare system is not reform, and Ron Klein knows it. By putting the interests and values of President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi before the needs of Florida voters, Klein has put his political career in great jeopardy.

Klein told reporters Sunday he was comfortable with his decision and that his district will benefit: "From the beginning, I have been committed to strengthening and protecting Medicare and fighting for families and businesses,” Klein said. “I also believe strongly that the doctor-patient relationship is at the center of any discussion on health care, and that no one -- not the government or private insurance -- should ever come between a patient and the doctor of their choice. South Floridians will see real, tangible benefits from
reform, and many of these benefits will be immediate. Seniors will finally have real relief from the burden of prescription drug costs, with those who fall into the Part D donut hole receiving a rebate check of $250 in the mail this year and seeing savings of more than $3,000 in the years ahead."