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Florida voters challenge proposed health care amendment

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July 7, 2010

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TALLAHASSEE, Florida: Last week, four individuals filed a lawsuit against the state regarding the ballot title and summary of Amendment 9. Plaintiffs Louisa McQueeney, Gracie Fowler, Diana Demerest and Mona Mangat said the current ballot title and summary mislead the public of the measure's true intent. All four plaintiffs are asking the court to consider the wording invalid.[1]

According to reports, plaintiffs said, "The amendment, as written, has nothing to do with any 'mandates,' nor does it explain how any such mandates 'don't work,' nor does it state how the amendment would protect against some phantom unworkable mandates." They describe the summary as "nothing more than political commentary on the federal health care reform act."[2]

Mark Herron, the attorney representing the plaintiffs said in an interview with the Associated Press that the ballot summary says the amendment would "ensure access to health care services without waiting lists, protect the doctor-patient relationship, guard against mandates that don't work." However, after looking at the amendment text, Herron said, "None of those subjects are specifically addressed in the amendment. It appears if the amendment is a bait and switch or flying under false colors and using political rhetoric to engender votes."[3]

Attorney General Bill McCollum has agreed to defend the proposed measure. McCollum has also filed a lawsuit challenging the federal health care law. "Attorney General McCollum is upholding a right that Floridians and people across the nation continue to demand in the face of big-government mandates," said Rep. Scott Plakon.[3]

The full text of the proposed amendment can be read here.

Lawsuit documents: Mona Mangat et al. v. Florida Department of State (Florida Second Judicial Circuit Court)

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References