ALEC Applauds Florida House Vote to Pass Health Care Freedom Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 5, 2011) – The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) congratulates the Florida House of Representatives for passing a proposed constitutional amendment allowing voters to opt out of the federal healthcare mandate required by ObamaCare. The Health Care Freedom Act, modeled after ALEC’s Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act, blocks a federal requirement for individuals to purchase health insurance. Florida is the latest to join the ranks of ALEC’s States Triumph over the Federal Mandate states.
“The Florida legislature has done a great job responding to their citizens’ requests to have a constitutional state-level defense against ObamaCare,” said Christie Herrera, director of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force. “I applaud the efforts of Rep. Plakon and Sen. Haridopolos to protect their state against encroaching federal healthcare mandates. It’s clear that the people of Florida want patient-centered—not government-centered—legislation, and I hope they have the chance to vote this into law in 2012.”
Introduced by Rep. Scott Plakon, R-Longwood, the legislation will now move to voters on the 2012 ballot. It passed through the Senate in early March as a top priority of Senate President Mike Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island. A similar amendment was struck down by the Florida Supreme Court in 2010. If the same does not occur, the current measure will need 60 percent of the popular vote to pass.
ALEC’s Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act has been introduced in 35 states in the 2011 legislative session. Statutory measures have been enacted in North Dakota and Tennessee, and a constitutional amendment is on the ballot in Wyoming. Statutory measures or constitutional amendments have also passed one chamber in the following eight states: Alaska, Alabama, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, New Hampshire, Minnesota, and Montana. In 2010, 42 states introduced or announced, seven states enacted statutes and two enacted constitutional amendments.
A complete interactive map is available at www.alec.org/foca.
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The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is the nation’s largest nonpartisan, individual membership organization of state legislators. www.alec.org