Florida Healthcare, Amendment 1 (2012)

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Health Care Amendment
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Type:Constitutional amendment
Constitution:Florida Constitution
Referred by:Florida State Legislature
Topic:Health care
Status:On the ballot
A Florida Health Care, Amendment 1 will appear on the November 6, 2012 state ballot in Florida as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. The measure aims to prevent penalties for not purchasing health care coverage in order to comply with federal health care reforms.[1]

The measure was filed by State Rep. Scott Plakon in the House and by Senate President Mike Haridopolos in the Senate.[2]

The proposed measure requires 60 percent voter approval for adoption.

Background

See also: Florida Health Care 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.[3] 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.[4] The 2010 legislation was sponsored by Rep. Scott Plakon and Sen. Carey Baker.

According to reports in November 2010 the 2012 proposal does 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][5]

Support

Supporters of the proposed measure argue 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."[6]

Opposition

Opponents of the proposal argue that a constitutional amendment may not ensure that citizens can opt out of the individual mandate set forth by the federal reform. They argue that the Supremacy Clause in the United States Constitution would override the state laws, making the proposed amendment a moot point.[6]

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 requires approval by a minimum of 60% in the both the House and the Senate. The proposed measure is expected to be considered during the 2011 legislative session. If approved the measure would be referred to the 2012 ballot.

Timeline

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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 Health Care, Amendment 63 (2010)
Approveda Oklahoma Health Care Freedom Amendment, State Question 756 (2010)
Approveda Missouri Health Care Freedom, Proposition C (2010)

See also

By Bailey Ludlam
Ballot measure writer

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Related measures

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

Articles

External links

Additional reading

References