Saying they are giving Floridians a chance to “fight back”, State Senator Carey Baker (R-Eustis) and State Representative Scott Plakon (R-Longwood) filed legislation yesterday to amend Florida’s Constitution to prohibit any law or rule from forcing people into a one size fits all, federally mandated health care system such as that being rushed through Congress. HJR 37 and the Senate companion legislation would preserve the freedom of our citizens to choose the kind of care they want or need.
“Today, we’re drawing the line in the sand. It is bad enough that our federal government wants to choose your doctor and ration your treatment,” Baker said. “But to do so virtually in secret and in such a rush proves that the goal is not to get better health care but to get socialized health care. Congress’ plan even penalizes people that want to pay for their own lawful health care services. That’s just wrong.”
“The federal government and its bureaucracies dictating who, when and what kind of treatment you receive is not reform at all,” said Representative Plakon. “Senator Baker and I feel it is our duty to step up and reassert the rights of Floridians, in this case protecting our citizens’ rights and freedoms to make appropriate decisions as it relates to their own health care. We believe this unprecedented power-grab by President Obama and Congress is clearly not in the best interests of the citizens of Florida.”
Plakon added historical context to this important legislation, pointing out that in 1787, Dr. Benjamin Rush, America’s foremost respected physician of his time, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, worked diligently to have the protection of “medical freedom” as a key addition to the US Constitution. Dr. Rush warned that medicine could become “an undercover dictatorship and force people who wish doctors and treatment of their own choice to submit to only what the dictating outfit offers.”
Baker and Plakon agreed that America’s health care system provides the most advanced health care opportunities in the world and that totally dismantling it is a dangerous step backwards. They went on to say that the fear of the federal government rationing care is a very real consequence of the legislation Congress is trying to ram through. Both said that efforts to improve health care access and affordability are important, but that the starting point in those efforts must start with protecting people’s freedom in choosing doctors, treatments and insurance options.
To amend Florida’s Constitution, the Florida House and Senate must pass the referendum language in next year’s legislative session with a super majority (3/5) voting in favor. Then the measure goes before the voters in the 2010 November general election and must pass with at least 60% voting in favor.
ABOUT CAREY BAKER: Senator Carey Baker has served in the Florida Army National Guard for over 28 years. Most recently, he was deployed for a year in Iraq’s Sunni Triangle during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Carey is also the owner of the nation’s oldest continuously operating gun shop, the A.W. Peterson Gun Shop in Mount Dora, Florida.
Carey currently represents Florida’s 20th District in the State Senate, which includes parts of Lake, Marion, Volusia, Seminole and Sumter Counties. He has announced his candidacy for Florida Commissioner of Agriculture (www.careybaker.com), a position that oversees the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and is one of four statewide elected members of the Florida Cabinet.