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Obamacare debate continues in Tampa Bay Area

Rep. Bilirakis holding a 3rd "listening session"
Posted at 5:52 PM, Feb 22, 2017

U.S. Representative to Pasco County, Gus Bilirakis, is holding a third “town hall style” event about the Affordable Care Act and the future of healthcare in America.

Like similar events across the country, Bilirakis’s events have been filled with people begging the representative not to do what he and other Republicans in Congress have promised: “repeal and replace.”

To that end, Rep. Bilirakis recently co-sponsored a bill be believes could help save some of the more popular elements of what’s become known as “Obamacare” such as protections for people with pre-existing conditions, like prohibiting insurance companies from raising premiums just because someone is sick, or denying access altogether.

This third event hosted by Rep. Bilirakis is at the Wesley Chapel High School Performing Arts Center on Wells Road. The event, titled “Public Listening Session about the Affordable Care Act” is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.

President Donald Trump, in a tweet on Tuesday, described crowds showing up at similar town hall events across the country as being engineered by "liberal activists." No evidence was brought forward to back up the remark.

Among those who plans to be in attendance Wednesday evening is a local physician, who believes his practice could serve as one example of a path forward for the health care industry.

It’s called Direct Patient Care, and Dr. Eric Crall of Lutz believes he’s the only full-time Direct Patient Care physician in the Tampa Bay Area. His practice has been helping people get around the Affordable Care Act by offering what he describes as a “membership plan” that allows patients to ditch the federal health care marketplace, possibly pay the penalty, but then get most of their health care services through his business called MyDPC Doc Family Medicine.

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