Death threats to Kosmas in wake of health-care vote forwarded to Capitol police
WASHINGTON D.C. -- Some people upset with Congresswoman Suzanne Kosmas' vote in support of President Obama's health-care bill have threatened her and her family, her press spokesman confirmed Thursday night.
The threats, sent in anonymous e-mails and in hang-up calls and messages since her vote Sunday were forwarded to the Capitol police, spokesman Marc Goldberg said.
Kosmas, the first-term Democrat from New Smyrna Beach, whose 24th district includes Southeast Volusia ansd parts of Brevard, Seminole and Orange counties, issued a statement through Goldberg condemming the attacks.
"We live in the greatest country on Earth, and one of the best aspects of our democracy is the ability to openly debate and discuss our differences on the issues," the Kosmas statement said. "However, when that discussion devolves into vulgarities and threats of violence, it crosses a line. I understand that people are frustrated and I don't take the comments aimed at me personally. But I do take threats aimed at my family and staff very personally.
Kosmas added, "I hope that people will pause before making threats and find a more constructive way to get their message across. Regardless, nothing will keep me from voting my conscience and doing all that I can to help the families, seniors, and small businesses that I represent."
Kosmas voted against an earlier version of the bill, but reversed course this time around, angering constituents who felt she was holding out for concessions from Obama so save the space program. Obama signed the historic legislation into law Tuesday and whether he agreed to rethink funding for NASA remains unclear.
“Last November, I voted against health care reform because I did not believe the bill before the House was fiscally responsible," Kosmas said Friday, prior to her vote Sunday. "Health care reform is, at its core, an economic issue, and addressing rising costs was always one of my highest priorities. Last year’s bill simply did not do enough to rein in costs or to reduce the federal deficit.
She added, “The bill before us now represents the single largest deficit reduction in over a decade, saving nearly $140 billion in the first 10 years and over $1.2 trillion in the decade to follow. This legislation provides truly fiscally responsible reform, and it contains the strongest measures ever enacted to help eliminate waste, fraud and abuse in the system, to rein in skyrocketing health care costs, and to stabilize Medicare while preserving benefits. Families and individuals can keep what they have and can continue choosing their doctors.
Small businesses get $40 billion in tax credits to provide care and can join together in exchanges that offer affordable choices, Kosmas said. And reform will close the donut hole in Medicare prescription drug coverage while improving benefits for our seniors and stabilizing the system over the long haul, she said.
Kosmas said this health care reform bill also "holds insurance companies accountable by preventing them from denying coverage based on preexisting conditions, by making sure they can’t take away your coverage if you get sick, and by eliminating the arbitrary caps on coverage that send many families into bankruptcy. “We now have a bill that, while not perfect, represents the change needed to put the economy and our health care system on a sustainable and positive path – a bill that includes numerous ideas from both Republicans and Democrats.
She concluded: “It was my commitment to families and businesses in Florida’s 24th District to be a voice for fiscally responsible, common-sense solutions and positive change for our children and their children. This bill represents those priorities, and that is why I will vote yes.”
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