Florida Healthcare, Amendment 1 (2012)
|Health Care Amendment|
|Referred by:||Florida State Legislature|
|Status:||On the ballot|
The proposed measure requires 60 percent voter approval for adoption.
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. 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. 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."
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."
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.
Path to the ballot
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.
- On December 8, 2010 the Health Regulation Committee voted 9 to 2 in favor of the proposed bill.
- On January 11, 2011 the Judiciary Committee reiterated the sentiment 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.
- The measure was approved by the Florida State Senate on March 9, 2011 following a vote of 29-10.
- The measure was approved by the Florida House of Representatives on May 4, 2011 following a 80-37 vote.
The following is a timeline of events surrounding the measure:
|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.|
In 2010 similar measures appeared on a total of four statewide ballots. Three were approved by voters while one was defeated.
Arizona Health Insurance Reform Amendment (2010)
Colorado Health Care, Amendment 63 (2010)
Oklahoma Health Care Freedom Amendment, State Question 756 (2010)
Missouri Health Care Freedom, Proposition C (2010)
| By Bailey Ludlam|
Ballot measure writer
|Email • Submit a link|
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- The Miami Herald,"Lawmakers ask voters to weigh in on abortion, taxes and more issues in 2012," May 11, 2011
- The Herald Tribune,"Legislature passes 7 ballot items for 2012," May 6, 2011
- Associated Press,"House puts health care measure on Florida ballot," May 4, 2011
- The Palm Beach Post,"Feds put stipulations on lawmakers' efforts to overhaul Medicaid," April 28, 2011
- New American,"Fla. Senate Approves Health Care Freedom Amendment," March 20, 2011
- Sunshine State News,"Health Care Amendment on Tap as Committee Meetings Start," December 7, 2010
- Orlando Sentinel,"Senate President Haridopolos will push health-care amendment," November 22, 2010
- The Florida Independent,"Florida Republicans continue fight against Affordable Health Care act," December 6, 2010
- Herald Tribune,"Health amendment tossed off ballot; state will appeal," July 30, 2010
- The Christian Science Monitor,"Florida voters can’t strip down Obama health-care bill, judge rules," August 31, 2010
- Associated Press,"Florida Senate revives challenge to Obama's health care law," December 9, 2010
- NorthEscambia.com,"Voters To Get Obama Health Care Mandate Question," May 5, 2011
- Sunshine State News,"Health Care Opt-Out Amendment Bill Breezes Through Committee," January 12, 2011
- Florida Senate,"SJR 2 vote history," retrieved January 12, 2011
- Florida Today,"State GOP adds fuel to universal health care fight," January 12, 2011
- The Tampa Tribune,"State Senate approves health care amendment for 2012 ballot," March 9, 2011
- Florida Today,"Florida Senate sets 'Obamacare' showdown for 2012," March 9, 2011
- The Palm Beach Post,"Legislature puts four amendments up for vote in 2012," May 5, 2011
- Florida State Senate,"SJR 2 vote on May 4," May 4, 2011
- CBN News,"Fla. Legislature Votes to Put 'Obamacare' on Ballot," May 5, 2011