Second in a series
On November’s ballot, Amendment 1 offers in essence a referendum on federal health care reform, questioning the reach of the Affordable Care Act, known colloquially as “ObamaCare.” Approved for voter consideration by the Florida Legislature in 2011, Amendment 1 would prohibit rules and laws that force any Florida resident to buy or provide health insurance. It would also:
Attempt to ban the implementation of ObamaCare in this state.
Prohibit individuals and employers from being charged a penalty or tax for directly purchasing health care services.
Prohibit the private health care market from being abolished.
Give Floridians the right under the state constitution to refuse to consent to any mandate to purchase health insurance.
Protect states’ rights under the U.S. Constitution’s 10th Amendment, which permits Florida to nullify any congressional act not authorized in the Constitution.
The amendment is a referendum on ObamaCare. Supporters of Amendment 1 maintain that ACA represents an infringement on personal liberty and an abuse of federal power, while the amendment preserves personal freedom. ACA will be extremely costly for employers, probably resulting in job losses, unless states like Florida stand up to deny its overreach.
The James Madison Institute has said it “filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the portion of ACA that would have forced states to participate in a vast expansion of Medicaid.” A majority of the Supreme Court justices agreed with the institute and others that it was improper to force states to pay the huge costs to expand Medicaid. But several onerous ACA provisions continue to hurt Americans and Floridians alike. The Supreme Court ruled that some portions of ACA are indeed constitutional. Voting “yes” on Amendment 1, even if it later proves unneeded, would allow Floridians to go on record opposing ACA. This would assert Floridians’ views with an exclamation point, something public opinion polls cannot do.
Opponents to this amendment contend that the feds have an incontestable power to tax, and that the ACA will not go away.
Contrary to The Palm Beach Post’s reasoning for recommending a no vote on this amendment, Amendment 1 would not be “meaningless” if it passes.
Supporting this amendment sends a message that Florida voters oppose the Obama mandate on health care. And, in case the ACA gets amended by Congress or repealed altogether, this amendment would prevent state government from imposing a similar requirement on Floridians in the future. Students of this issue know all too well that this is what happened in Massachusetts.
Vote YES on Amendment 1 if you disagree with ObamaCare and don’t want to be forced by the government to buy or provide health care coverage.