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Florida Healthcare, Amendment 1 (2012)

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Amendment 1
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Type:Constitutional amendment
Constitution:Florida Constitution
Referred by:Florida State Legislature
Topic:Healthcare on the ballot
Amendment 1, also known as the Florida Healthcare Amendment, was on the November 6, 2012 state ballot in Florida as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was defeated. The measure would have prevented any laws or rules from compelling any person or employer to purchase, obtain, or otherwise provide for health care coverage.[1][2]

The measure was filed by State Rep. Scott Plakon in the House and by Senate President Mike Haridopolos in the Senate.[3]

The proposed measure required 60 percent voter approval for adoption.

Election results

See also: 2012 ballot measure election results

Florida Amendment 1
Defeatedd No3,856,60851.5%
Yes 3,632,315 48.5%

These results are certified and final.

Results via the Florida Department of Election's website.

Text of measure

The official ballot text read as follows:[4]



HEALTH CARE SERVICES.—Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to prohibit laws or rules from compelling any person or employer to purchase, obtain, or otherwise provide for health care coverage; permit a person or an employer to purchase lawful health care services directly from a health care provider; permit a health care provider to accept direct payment from a person or an employer for lawful health care services; exempt persons, employers, and health care providers from penalties and taxes for paying directly or accepting direct payment for lawful health care services; and prohibit laws or rules from abolishing the private market for health care coverage of any lawful health care service. Specifies that the amendment does not affect which health care services a health care provider is required to perform or provide; affect which health care services are permitted by law; prohibit care provided pursuant to general law relating to workers’ compensation; affect laws or rules in effect as of March 1, 2010; affect the terms or conditions of any health care system to the extent that those terms and conditions do not have the effect of punishing a person or an employer for paying directly for lawful health care services or a health care provider for accepting direct payment from a person or an employer for lawful health care services; or affect any general law passed by two-thirds vote of the membership of each house of the Legislature, passed after the effective date of the amendment, provided such law states with specificity the public necessity justifying the exceptions from the provisions of the amendment. The amendment expressly provides that it may not be construed to prohibit negotiated provisions in insurance contracts, network agreements, or other provider agreements contractually limiting copayments, coinsurance, deductibles, or other patient charges.


See also: Florida Healthcare Freedom, Amendment 9 (2010)

In 2010, the legislature referred a similar measure to the 2010 statewide ballot. However, the measure was removed from the ballot by court order on July 29, 2010. Leon County Circuit Judge James Shelfer said the measure was misleading and could confuse voters.[5] On August 31 the Florida Supreme Court upheld previous lower court decisions to throw out Amendment 9. "The ballot language put forth … contains misleading and ambiguous language. Currently our only recourse is to strike the proposed constitutional amendment from the ballot," said the justices.[6] The 2010 legislation was sponsored by Rep. Scott Plakon and Sen. Carey Baker.

Reports in November 2010 the 2012 indicated that proposal did not include wording that was found questionable by judges in 2010. Specifically judges questioned the following statement (which is not included in the 2012 proposed text): "ensure access to health care services without waiting lists, protect the doctor/patient relationship,” and ”guard against mandates that don’t work."[1][7]


Supporters of the proposed measure argued that the federal health care law is an abuse of federal power, in part due to the requirements that people buy health insurance. Sponsor of the measure Rep. Scott Plakon said, "I say keep your hands off my freedom."[8]


Opponents of the proposal argued that a constitutional amendment may not ensure that citizens can opt out of the individual mandate set forth by the federal reform. They argued that the Supremacy Clause in the United States Constitution would override the state laws, making the proposed amendment a moot point.[8]

Path to the ballot

See also: Florida law for legislatively-referred constitutional amendments

In order to qualify for the November 2012 ballot the proposed amendment required approval by a minimum of 60% in the both the House and the Senate.

  • On December 8, 2010, the Health Regulation Committee voted 9 to 2 in favor of the bill.
  • On January 11, 2011 the Judiciary Committee echoed the decision with a 5 to 1 vote in support. The House version of the bill (HJR 1) has been referred to three committees: HHS Quality Subcommittee, State Affairs Committee and Health and Human Services Committee.[9][10][11]



The following is a timeline of events surrounding the measure:

Event Date Developments
Court Ruling Jul. 29, 2010 A similar measure was sent to the 2010 ballot, but was removed by court order.
Appeal Aug. 31, 2010 The Florida Supreme Court upheld previous lower court decisions to throw out measure.
Vote Dec. 8, 2010 The Health Regulation Committee voted 9 to 2 in favor of the newly proposed bill.
Vote Jan. 11, 2011 Judiciary Committee approved measure with 5 to 1 vote in support.
Vote Mar. 9, 2011 Measure was approved by the Florida State Senate with a 29 to 10 vote.
Vote May 4, 2011 Florida House of Representatives approve measure with vote of 80 to 37.

Similar measures

In 2010 similar measures appeared on a total of four statewide ballots. Three were approved by voters while one was defeated.

Approveda Arizona Health Insurance Reform Amendment (2010)
Defeatedd Colorado Healthcare, Amendment 63 (2010)
Approveda Oklahoma Healthcare Freedom Amendment, State Question 756 (2010)
Approveda Missouri Healthcare Freedom, Proposition C (2010)

See also

Related measures

Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot Florida Healthcare Freedom, Amendment 9 (2010)


External links

Additional reading