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State News

Health care law rejection proposal clears first stop

By Lynn Hatter

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wfsu/local-wfsu-954211.mp3

Tallahassee, FL – Senate President Mike Haridopolos is bringing back a constitutional amendment proposal that the Florida Supreme Court rejected last year. As Lynn Hatter reports, the bill would allow Floridians to opt out of federal requirements that people purchase health insurance or face fines.

The proposal cleared the legislature last year and was placed on the ballot, only to be kicked off by the state supreme court which said the amendment's summary was misleading. Now its back. During Wednesday's Senate Budget Committee, Haridopolos said the measure is about giving Floridians the opportunity to have their voices heard.

"And we are showing a lot of respect for the courts today as they requested, so that voters can have a say in 2012 on something important to all of us: healthcare freedom. We want to make sure that Floridians, and not the government, has the freedom to make healthcare decisions. This should be a patient-centered decision, as opposed to a government-centered decision."

Meanwhile, several cases on the federal healthcare law are headed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Three lower courts have upheld the law, while two others, including one in Florida, has said the law is unconstitutional.