Opinion – Ballot Amendment One

The Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida

Opinion On Ballot Amendment One

In Opposition to Amendment One (2012)

Amendment One, also known as the Florida Health Care Amendment, was proposed by the Florida Legislature, not by Florida’s citizens. The Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida urges a NO vote on Amendment One.

Amendment One would change the Florida Constitution to prohibit the implementation of provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). These provisions require certain individuals and employers to purchase health insurance in order to expand coverage. Low-income Floridians and small business owners with fewer than 50 employees would be exempt from the mandate. The United States Supreme Court ruled in June that the mandate is constitutional.

Supporters of Amendment One wrap their opposition to the federal legislation in the American flag by claiming that the ACA limits personal freedom. It is not about freedom. In reality, it is about providing affordable insurance and coverage choices to the approximately one in five Floridians who lack coverage. Currently, uninsured Floridians seek medical care in emergency rooms at a much higher cost to all of us.

The ACA is a long-overdue effort to transform the United States health care system. U.S. citizens pay more for health care than any other industrialized nation, yet fewer people are covered and our life expectancy is lower. In a system based primarily on employee-provided health insurance, U.S. businesses cannot compete in global markets as health care costs spiral out of control. The ACA was passed in order to rein in costs and expand access for millions of uninsured Americans.

This amendment is a waste of time and taxpayer money. The Supremacy Clause in the Federal constitution overrides state law, and therefore renders this amendment moot, now that ACA has been declared constitutional. If Amendment One passes, the State of Florida would be attempting to circumvent federal law, which would involve Florida in expensive lawsuits, adding to the costs already incurred by Florida’s Attorney General, Pam Bondi, in the losing fight to have ACA declared unconstitutional.

The Florida Legislature has a history of using the amendment process to increase turnout of its preferred voters during elections. The Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida believes that the legislature proposed this amendment in an attempt to trick voters who may not fully understand the ACA and President Obama’s efforts to extend health insurance coverage to more Americans.

The Republican-led Florida Legislature has dragged its feet in complying with In Opposition to Amendment One (2012) and implementing ACA long enough. It’s time to give Floridians the benefits Amendment One, also known as the Florida Health Care Amendment, was of the Affordable Care Act. The Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida proposed by the Florida Legislature not by Florida’s citizens. The Democratic urges a NO vote on Amendment One. Progressive Caucus of Florida urges a NO vote on Amendment One.