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Despite GOP Bill Collapse, South Florida Activists Continue To Demonstrate For Health Care

Holly Pretsky
About two dozen activists gathered outside Sen. Marco Rubio's office Tuesday.

South Florida activists aren't laying down their megaphones just yet, despite the collapse of the GOP health care bill Monday night. 

About two dozen people gathered in Doral on the sidewalk near Sen. Marco Rubio's office Tuesday around 11 a.m. to demand health care for all. Many said they don't think the fight is over.

"It didn't faze me too much," said demonstrator Michael Wanek of the Senate bill failure.  "One way or the other, they're going to come up with something, and it's not going to go in the direction we want."

Wanek is a small business owner. He says he and his wife relied on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for affordable maternity and delivery care.

In a Facebook Live video Tuesday morning, Sen. Rubio said he would vote to repeal the ACA without replacement. "I believe Obamacare is broken. I believe it's bad for our country," he said.

Though a repeal vote is unlikely for now due to the announcements by three GOP senators that they would not support it, South Florida activists remain vigilant.

Credit Holly Pretsky / WLRN
Protesters demonstrated on the corner of Northwest 87th Avenue and 36th Street, eventually marching to Sen. Marco Rubio's office nearby.

"There's still a need to put pressure," said Scott Darius, executive director of Florida Voices for Health. "I don't think the healthcare conversation is going anywhere, obviously. And frankly, this is the third time this year that we find ourselves at this juncture."

He alluded to the House's initial struggle to pass its health bill, and later the Senate's postponement of its vote at the end of June. 

"We're not talking about a vote happening tomorrow," Darius said. "On the other hand, some of the objections we've heard to the [Senate] bill as is is because it didn't go far enough."

He said for now, they'll focus on education about health-care issues as they wait to see what happens next.