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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Health Care Battle Moves to Florida

While we continue to debate the health care bill, we are about to face the first tangible effect of the bill. That will come on April 13th. That's when Florida's special election will be held in the 19th district. Republican Ed Lynch will face off against Democrat Ted Deutsch. They're running to replace Robert Wexler, who resigned late last year.

This is a relatively liberal district and normally it wouldn't receive much attention. The Democrat should win in a cakewalk. These aren't normal times. With the results in Massachusetts anything is possible. This race will the first tangible test of health care's popularity, or lack thereof. If Lynch wins, it will be yet another sign that 2010 will be very bloody for Democrats. If Deutsch wins, it will be a sign that Democrats are getting their mojo after passing health care.

Make no mistake, this special election will be about the health care bill. Just ask Lynch.

The deed has been done. In one of the most shameful episodes in American History, the Obama Administration has signed into law a not-so-gradual government takeover of the health insurance system- a takeover that simultaneously subverts our Constitution and governs against the will of the American people. The near total disconnect between the political rhetoric employed by the Obama Administration to promote and pass this legislation with how it will actually affect your most private health care decisions is an offense against freedom loving Americans who want no part of government run health care.

Prior to last weekend’s disgraceful scene within the House Democratic Caucus, I had stated that our forthcoming Special Election on April 13th could potentially have implications for the Obamacare vote if the Democrats failed to come up with the necessary votes before our special election. In light the law’s signing by President Obama, our special election now becomes the first referendum on this egregious power play. The Obama administration and the Democratic Congress may have had the power to accomplish what they did with our healthcare system, but they assuredly did not have either the constitutional right or the public’s consent to pass such a law. The good news is that we don’t have to wait until November to make the Democrats feel the blowback for such a naked sellout of our country.

Deutsch, meanwhile, is taking aim at the Tea Parties.

As the April 13 special election approaches to replace former Democratic Rep. Robert Wexler in Palm Beach-Broward congressional District 19, Democrat Ted Deutch’s campaign has sent a mailer to voters in the heavily Democratic district warning that “Republicans & The Tea Party Want To Capture YOUR Congressional Seat!”

The four-page glossy brochure features unflattering pictures of former Vice President Dick Cheney, 2008 Republican veep nominee Sarah Palin and a tea bag with a large red X through them. Inside, the mailer features a statement from Wexler lamenting the Dems’ “heartbreaking” loss to Brown in Massachusetts and says “We cannot let the Republicans take our district as well.”

The South Florida Tea Party has said it plans to make a national statement in the special election. But the group recently decided not to endorse any candidate in the race between Deutch, Republican Ed Lynch and no-party candidate Jim McCormick.

So, the battle lines have been drawn. While the Massachusetts race was now the center of media attention, this race continues to fly under the radar. Yet, this is the first race post the passage of health care reform. It will be the first tangible result.

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