By Thomas Perrin, JMI Director of Public Affairs
Less than 15 hours after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Senate’s version of President Obama’s healthcare legislation, Florida has taken significant actions to keep these provisions from denying individuals’ choice in their healthcare decisions. Florida’s Attorney General, Bill McCollum indicated during yesterday’s debate that he and several other Attorneys General would file lawsuits against the new legislation claiming that several portions of the bill were unconstitutional. This decision was backed by the committee passage of a nonbinding resolution, HB 1561, which encourages General McCollum to file such a suit.Also, today in the House Health Care Regulation Policy Committee, HJR 37, the “Florida Healthcare Freedom Act” filed by Rep. Plakon passed by a 10-3 margin. This bill would place a state constitutional amendment on the November ballot that essentially does two things. First, it protects a person’s rights to participate or not participate in any healthcare system and prohibits the government from imposing fines or penalties on that person’s decision. Second, it protects the rights of individuals to purchase—and the rights of doctors to provide—lawful medical services without government fine or penalty.The Senate version of the Healthcare Freedom Act has already passed two committees and has two remaining. The House version has three committees remaining. It’s also worth noting that the Senate’s version, sponsored by Sen. Baker has 10 co-sponsors while the House version has an incredible 57 co-sponsors.Click here to read the full text of Florida’s Healthcare Freedom Act: HJR 37