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Senate approves health care amendment 29-10

by Dara Kam | March 9th, 2011

On the second day of the legislative session, the Florida Senate approved a proposed constitutional amendment allowing Florida to opt out of the federal health care law, the chamber’s President Mike Haridopolos’ top priority.

The Senate approved the measure, (SJR 2) by a 29-10 vote, with just one Democrat – Bill Montford of Tallahassee – voting in favor.

The amendment, which would go before the voters next year, bans the federal government from forcing Floridians from having to purchase health care coverage, the “individual mandate” that is the subject of several federal court cases, including one in Florida. A Pensacola federal judge struck down the law as unconstitutional. President Obama’s administration appealed that ruling yesterday, and the U.S. Supreme Court will ultimately decide on the case.

Lawmakers attempted to put a similar measure on the ballot last year, but the Florida Supreme Court struck it down saying it was confusing to voters. Haridopolos tweaked the language to try to meet the court’s muster this time around.

Haridopolos, a Merritt Island Republican, is running for U.S. Senate, and could possibly on the same November 2012 ballot as the amendment.

“This is about freedom. This is about federalism. This is not a unitary government where everything just comes on down high from government,” Haridopolos said before the vote. “This is about choice. This is about freedom and respecting the U.S. Constitution and…mostly, respecting individual rights.”

Senate Democratic Leader Nan Rich of Weston argued that the federal law already allows states to opt out if they come up with another way to make sure its citizens are insured.

“The fact remains that this is the law of the land and it is our duty to take the appropriate steps to implement this law,” Rich said. “Whether you like it or not, we have a federal system of government…Federal law remains the supreme law of the land.”

The proposed amendment would require 60 percent approval from the voters to pass. The House has not yet voted on the measure.

Arguing against the bill, Sen. Tony Hill, D-Jacksonville, took umbrage at Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, calling the law “Obamacare.”

“Sen. Gaetz mentioned Obamacare,” Hill said. “At least somebody care.”

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7 Responses to “Senate approves health care amendment 29-10”

  1. Educator Says:

    Scott thinks he’s George Wallace and we all know the end of that story.

  2. PFM Says:

    Who is going to pay for all those without insurance when they go to the ER? It will be all of us that have insurance because the insurance companies will say they have to raise our insurance to pay for those that don’t have any. That has been happening forever. Then why would you vote against Health Care? The only reason, is becuase it was put in by Obama and Dems and the GOP and Tea Baggers can’t have a great problem but in my their opponents.!

  3. Tea Party Lady Says:

    What a courageous act by the Senate to defend the U.S. Constitution. How heartening!

    As Amendment X of the U.S. Constitution states: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

    Let’s give our support to this bill, and let’s let The Will of The People decide this in a referendum!

    We Tea Partiers will be watching this closely, as we defend the States’ Rights defined in the U.S. Constitution.

  4. Charles Says:

    To PFM – The same people that pay for them now. We, the taxpayers. To Tea Party Lady, do you know the definition of courageous? I doubt it as you would not put that word and Governor Scott in the same sentence.

  5. TJ Says:

    Why do those without insurance go to the emergency room? Because they know they don’t have to pay, but that too can be changed.
    If people choose to forgo insurance they should not be afforded the same care as those who take responsibility for themselves and purchase insurance. It’s not about money or availability, it’s about being responsible for yourself and your family.

  6. Jason Says:

    No state can overrule a law imposed by the federal government. It’s clearly stated in the Supremacy clause of the Constituition, Article VI parragraph 2. And it has been up held by the decision in McCulloch v. Maryland.

  7. depuy hip  Says:

    Really good weblog, keep me from checking it, I will be seriously interested to know more about it.

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