April 24, 2010

U.S. says Florida can't opt out of Obamacare

HEALTH NEWS FLORIDA — Only hours after the Florida House and Senate voted to "opt out" of the new federal health law, the top U.S. health official said Thursday night that will not be permitted. Without mentioning any particular state or going into detail, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that state and local officials can vent all they want about a so-called "federal takeover" of health care. But they cannot deny their citizens access to its benefits or requirements, she told the Association of Health Care Journalists.

“They may want to opt out, but they don’t get to opt out all of their citizens who want and need health care,” Sebelius said.  . . .  At least 30 states have passed state constitutional amendment legislation similar to that approved by the Florida Legislature, according to theNational Conference of State Legislatures.

The opt-out measure passed in the House and Senate on Thursday, a proposed amendment to the Florida Constitution, will go before voters in the November election. The proposal says, in part, that Floridians may not be forced by law to "participate in any health-care system.''

Dividing along almost strict party lines, the House passed the proposal 74-42, and the Senate followed in a 26-11 vote. Republican supporters say the issue is a matter of freedom and preventing encroachment by the federal government. . . . [Full Story]
TAGS: Florida, Obamacare, Federal health care, health care, freedom, opt out, HHS, Kathleen Sebelius

No comments: