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Anti-ObamaCare amendment heads to ballot

The Florida Senate 26-11 passed the so-called Health Care Freedom Act.

The measure, which needs to be approved by 60 percent of voters in November, was drafted to stop the federal health reform’s so-called “individual mandate” that requires citizens to purchase health insurance. But, because federal law would trump state law, the constitutional amendment probably won’t affect ObamaCare. Instead, if approved, the amendment will block future legislatures from passing a state law requiring people to buy private insurance, similar to what Massachusetts did under Republican Gov. Mitt Romney's RomneyCare plan.

Bill sponsor Sen. Carey Baker, R-Eustis, said the measure was designed to “preserve freedom” and prevent the government from forcing people to buy a private product they might not want.

“This debate is not about denying health care to anyone,” Baker said. “At the end of the day….. healthcare freedom belongs in our Constitution.”

But Sen. Dan Gelber, D-Miami Beach,  said the amendment was unclear, a waste of time and a missed opportunity to improve access to health insurance in a state where up to 4 million people are uninsured.

“The tragedy is, Gelber said. “We are spending all our time today, and in this Legislature, trying to figure how to block healthcare to our citizens.”

Gelber said Gov. Charlie Crist and the Legislature’s attempt two years ago to improve health-insurance access through the Cover Florida plan, which offers stripped down benefit packages for a stripped down price, is only growing by about 25 new enrollees a month.

“If you do the math, in about 500 years, Cover Florida will cover Florida,” Gelber said.

Sen. Ronda Storms, R-Valrico, took exception with Gelber’s statement that the Legislature isn’t doing enough to provide health insurance. She pointed out the state provides a wide array of benefits, from nursing homes to hospital care to help for kids with cleft palette.

Unmentioned by Storms, most of the state's health services are underwritten and pumped up by the federal government and Obama's stimulus plan.

Comments

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RealConservative

This will be a huge waste of energy and time. Current polls show that in general, people are confused by the legislation, and not angry. The polls also show that once people understand what the legislation does for them, they agree with it...this includes 80% of the republicans polled. The Obama administration has until November to continue explaining to the confused population what the Healthcare bill will be doing for them...and I wonder whose fault is it anyhow that some people, especially republicans are confused? If you guess Republican politicians and a certain tv broadcaster you may be right...

dpt

Calling historic, groundbreaking national health reform "Obamacare" - a prejudicial, negative label used only by Republicans, the Tea Party and anti-reform forces, in the headline of this story is a shoddy, attention-seeking ploy that is unworthy of the Miami Herald, and unworthy of the ethical standards of impartial journalism.

jaguar

dpt,
Its after 1 AM -- time for you to stop drinking the koolaid and go to bed. You can then dream about the rainbows and bunny rabbits of the Age of Obama, and his historic, groundbreaking, hopey-changey, yes we can, Marxist transformation of America. 'Night.

RealConservative

Watch Arizona...that's what the republicans are trying to do with the rest of the country...BTW, jaguars are not original to the US...they may be included in the republicans list of unwelcomes....

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