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Crist back to opposing health care bill

Gov. Charlie Crist just released another statement on his position on the federal health care bill. He's back in opposition to it. He's "clarifying" his earlier comments because "apparently there may be some confusion regarding my position."

In the statement, he says he would have voted against the bill, but, "But being an independent, I have the freedom to be an honest broker for the people of Florida without regard for political party, and the reality is this: despite its serious flaws, the health care bill does have some positive aspects."

The Marco Rubio and Kendrick Meek camps, naturally, have pounced, saying this is further evidence that Crist is a political opportunist/flip-flopper of the first rate who simply cannot be trusted. (Full Crist statement below.)

"Apparently, based on an interview this afternoon, there may be some confusion regarding my position on health care. If I misspoke, I want to be abundantly clear: the health care bill was too big, too expensive, and expanded the role of government far too much. Had I been in the United States Senate at the time, I would have voted against the bill because of unacceptable provisions like the cuts to the Medicare Advantage program. But being an independent, I have the freedom to be an honest broker for the people of Florida without regard for political party, and the reality is this: despite its serious flaws, the health care bill does have some positive aspects.

Repeal must be accompanied by a responsible substitute — repeal without passage of a substitute law protecting those with pre-existing conditions, closing the prescription drug donut hole for seniors, and allowing parents to keep their children on their insurance coverage until age 26 would be wrong. While I would not have supported the legislation, we have to recognize the positive components and work together across party lines to make our health care system more affordable for both consumers and the government.

This debate must not be about political posturing; it must be about protecting the people of Florida and America, and I intend to do that hard work when I get to the United States Senate."

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