It’s true. This is happening in Florida, the national repository for people on Medicare. The proposal comes from men who enjoy government health care and whose families enjoy the benefits of the same plan. It’s unclear whether their philosophy extends as far as eliminating health care provided by the government for themselves, for the seniors who live in their districts and for the members of the military and the vets who reside there. The amendment would however amount to an effective ban on health care for the more than 4 million Floridians presently uninsured.
The men behind Fla. House Joint Resolution 37 are Republican State Senator Carey Baker and Republican State Representative Scott Plakon. Their resolution has so far garnered 14 cosponsors:
JOINT RESOLUTION by Plakon and Workman (CO-SPONSORS) Adams; Carroll; Dorworth; Drake; Ford; Hays; Horner; Hudson; O’Toole; Precourt; Proctor; Renuart; Snyder; Stargel
Health Care Services: Proposes creation of s. 28, Art. X of State Constitution to prohibit laws or rules from compelling any person, employer, or health care provider to participate in any health care system; permit person or employer to purchase lawful health care services directly from health care provider; permit health care provider to accept direct payment from person or employer for lawful health care services; exempt persons, employers, & health care providers from penalties & fines for paying or accepting direct payment for lawful health care services; permit purchase or sale of health insurance in private health care systems; & specifies what amendment does not affect or prohibit.
No report yet on the extent to which the lawmakers were assisted by insurance industry executives and health care lobbyists in crafting the language of the amendment.
According to WOKV in Jacksonville, the bill would have to be supported by a three-fifths majority in both chambers– the Fla. House and Senate– just to get onto the 2010 ballot.
Any state-wide ad campaign for the amendment would be costly– running into the millions at least– and would likely focus on the drawbacks of a “socialized” system and the great benefits of a “market-based” system.
The country, including Florida, now benefits from both systems. Medicare is socialized medicine. The market-based system is the one many Americans now think of as the one that is “broken,” riddled with abuses, where costs continue to climb at the same time patients are denied coverage in increasing numbers and have little recourse, where they search in vain for any truly alternative health insurance to buy, for example.
“We believe this unprecedented power-grab by President Obama and Congress is clearly not in the best interests of the citizens of Florida,” Baker and Plakon said in a joint statement. Baker told WOKV that the reform plan in Congress amounts to socialization.