Senate President Mike Hardipolos' proposed amendment to the state constitution that could stop President Obama's health care plan made it through it's third and final Senate committee on Wednesday.
Haridopolis, who is running for the U.S. Senate in 2012, had this to say in a prepared statement about approval of his so-called "Health Care Freedom Act" by the Senate budget committee:
“Today’s vote by the Senate Budget Committee brings Floridians one step closer to ensuring quality health care for Floridians without the threat of government interference.
"The Health Care Freedom Act is a top priority of mine and the 27 other Republican Senators who have co-sponsored this constitutional amendment. We believe in patient-centered, not government-centered, health care. When the legislative session starts in less than two weeks, I hope Senate Joint Resolution 2 will be the first bill passed by the full Senate. Our message is clear – Floridians can make their own health care choices without mandates from the federal government."
If the proposal makes it through the House and Senate, it will take 60 percent of voters to approve it in November 2012 to become part of the Constitution. The Legislature passed a similar amendment last year, but the courts struck it from the November ballot, saying it was misleading. Much of the purportedly misleading language is absent from this proposal, which begins "To preserve the freedom of all residents of the state to provide for their own health care...A law or rule may not compel, directly or indirectly, any person, employer, or health care provider to participate in any health care system."