Crist weighs in on Acreage cancer, Obamacare, stimulusby George Bennett | July 23rd, 2009
PALM BEACH GARDENS — Gov. Charlie Crist, attending a biosciences powwow at Palm Beach Community College this morning, said he’s aware of the concerns of residents of The Acreage about a potential cancer cluster in their community.
“I am aware of it and naturally I’m concerned about it,” Crist said in response to a question from reporters. He noted the state Department of Health is looking into the matter.
After Acreage residents tallied 46 cases of people with malignant or benign brain tumors or cysts in the brain in three zip codes (33470, 33412 and 33411), Sen. Bill Nelson held a public forum and DOH said it will determine by next month whether the incidence rate for the disease is greater than it should be. If the numbers exceed what would be expected, the agency could launch an investigation.
Crist, a Republican who’s running for U.S. Senate in 2010, voiced some doubts about the massive health care reform effort being pushed by President Obama and congressional Democrats.
“All of us would like to have health care, but we have to do it right and do it smart and we have to do it in a way that’s affordable,” Crist said.
He said Democratic plans appear “very costly” and include tax increases “which I oppose….I just think it’s too much, too fast.”
Crist took heat from many in the GOP earlier this year when he was one of the few Republicans nationally to embrace Obama’s $787 billion economic stimulus plan. Asked if the plan is working, Crist said, “I think it’s starting to work.”
Crist then toured a biotechnology classroom filled with students in white lab coats conducting experiments. The governor is attending a “Commercialization of Technology and Life Sciences Roundtable” at PBCC.
Tags: Acreage cancer cluster