Florida has joined the Resistance against the Obamacare death star.
The state’s legislature just approved a ballot proposal that would bar Floridians from being forced to obtain medical insurance coverage as required by Obamacare.
As reported by the AP’s Bill Kaczor on April 22, 2010, the proposed state constitutional amendment (HJR 37) will go on the Nov. 2 ballot after the House and Senate each passed it by largely partisan votes.
The House vote was 74-42. Only two Democrats, Reps. Leonard Bembry of Greenville and Debbie Boyd of Newberry, voted for the proposal. Just one Republican, Rep. Ron Schultz of Homosassa, voted against it. The Senate roll call was 26-11 with all Republicans in favor and all Democrats against.
House sponsor Republican Rep. Scott Plakon conceded federal law would override the state amendment due to U.S. Constitution’s “supremacy clause.” “We all know that if ultimately the individual mandate is deemed constitutional then that would render the federal question moot.” But he added his proposal would ban similar laws at the state level, and “certainly prevent a future debacle like what’s happening in the state of Massachusetts right now where their system is basically imploding.”
That argument didn’t stop other lawmakers from attacking or defending the federal health care overhaul. Sen. Carey Baker, a Eustis Republican who sponsored the amendment in the Senate, argued the federal law conflicts with constitutional freedoms and American tradition. “For the first time in American history you have to buy a product just to live here, said Rep. Rich Workman, R-Melbourne, a native of Canada. “That is not the freedoms or the liberties that I was promised when I immigrated to this country.”
Rep. Joe Gibbons, D-Hallandale Beach, argued that the state amendment would undercut the cost-saving aspect of the federal law by leaving many Floridians uninsured. “We’re forcing people into the emergency room,” Gibbons said. “The average emergency room visit costs about $2,500. The average preventive doctor visit costs about $50. Do you want to spend $2,500 or do you want to spend $50? I say we go for the $50.”