McCollum looking for advisers on health care issue

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill McCollum is gathering a group of  advisers  on health care.

McCollum took time Tuesday to denounce proposals that would include a government-run health care option when he announced formation of his health care advisory group.

However, McCollum couldn't answer a question about what he did on behalf of health care during his 20 years in Washington as a congressman.

He did, however, invite his opponents in the governor's race to join him in opposing key components of proposals being debated in Washington, reports

News agencies report, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, the presumptive Democratic gubernatorial candidate, gave her likely GOP opponent Attorney General Bill McCollum a taste of his own medicine by calling him out on his Congressional voting record on health care.

Sink’s campaign issued a press release responding to McCollum’s challenge this morning to join him in opposition to President Barack Obama’s and Congressional Democrats’ health care plan.

“During his twenty years in Congress, McCollum voted eight times to cut Medicare by at least $650 billion, voted to raise the eligibility age for Medicare and Social Security, and voted to make it harder for government to crack down on health care fraud,” Sink’s campaign manager Paul Dunn wrote.

“Bill McCollum is in no position to question anyone else until he answers for his decades-long record undermining Medicare, Social Security, and affordable health care,” Dunn concluded. Palm Beach Post reports.

In the meantime, McCollum, who served in Congress for 20 years, would face Alex Sink in next year's election to succeed Gov. Charlie Crist, who is running for the Senate.

Sink has not taken a stand on the public-option question and did not respond to a request for comment. Instead, her campaign issued a statement criticizing McCollum as having been an ally of insurers, not patients, while in Congress.

McCollum also announced the formation of a 13-member Health Care Advisory Council to guide him on health policy during the campaign and, he said, after he would take office. The panel includes doctors, nurses and a managed-care company executive.

Florida has the nation's highest percentage of Medicare patients and a large and politically active elderly population.

AARP's Florida director, Lori Parham, said in a statement that she hoped McCollum ``will look not only to doctors and insurance executives but also to ordinary Floridians with and without insurance. They are the true face of the current health reform debate'', reports.

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