Fla tea partiers push VA-style anti-health insurance lawby Dara Kam | December 20th, 2010
The Florida Liberty Alliance – a coalition of tea party activists – is pushing Senate President Mike Haridopolos to pass a law similar to Virginia’s that would exempt Floridians from the federal health care law requiring individuals to purchase health insurance or pay a fine.
The group wants Haridopolos and the Florida Legislature to pass something similar to Virginia’s “Health Care Freedom Act” and make it one of the first things they do when they convene in March.
Haridopolos has already sponsored a constitutional amendment by the same name that would allow Florida to opt out of the health care law, now under scrutiny by a federal judge in Pensacola.
But the alliance doesn’t want to wait until the 2012 election when the proposal would go on the ballot.
“We respectfully ask that all expeditious measure be taken to introduce legislation to create Florida law, as was crafted so well in Virginia, to secure these protections by statute for Floridians as one of the very first legislative initiatives in the new session,” wrote a group of tea party activists in a letter to Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, released today.
“We believe that if Governor Scott, as one of his first acts on taking office, were to sign such legislation into law, the citizens of Florida would see that our elected Representatives not only take their oath of office to protect the Constitution seriously, but it would send a very strong message to Washington and the entire nation,” the letter goes on.
A federal judge in Virginia last week overturned the “individual mandate” portion of the law requiring that individuals and families have health insurance coverage or pay a fine. That case is likely headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson in Pensacola this week heard oral arguments in a challenge filed by Attorney General Bill McCollum and 19 other states. The Florida case also contends that the individual mandate is unconstitutional and that the federal government overreached its authority with sweeping changes to the federal-state Medicaid program included in the law.