Despite a continuing public legal challenge waged by the state of Florida, state lawmakers are still dedicating a significant amount of time to passing memorials (mostly ceremonial bills) urging the federal government to repeal its health care reform bill.
Florida is currently the lead plaintiff in a legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the U.S. Supreme Court will begin hearing the case this March.
Even with the legal challenge, legislators have continued to introduce memorials in both the House and Senate aimed at showing their dislike of the bill.
This week alone, a memorial was read on the House floor that “urges Congress to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act signed into law by President Obama in 2010.” House Bill 1281 needs just one more reading before going to a final vote.
The Senate version of that bill, Senate Bill 1854, passed through a Senate health committee later this week, along with a second bill urging “Congress to defund the health insurance exchanges [state-operated health insurance databases that would allow people to shop around for insurance] required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would enact new rules aimed at helping consumers afford health insurance. The state of Florida has taken a philosophic stand against the entire bill and has done as little as possible to implement the law in the state.
Both Senate bills were introduced by state Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Miami, who said this week that he wanted to make a point about how the bill would affect Medicare benefits and health affordability in the country.
State Sen. Eleanor Sobel, the only Democrat on the Senate health panel, argued that the health care reform bill is aimed at ending “insurance company abuses.” She said she did not understand why the Legislature would ”oppose this very good bill.”
Republican legislators have been very vocal with their dislike of the health care reform bill, as well as any public health mandate from the federal government.
In the same Senate panel in which two memorials denouncing the Affordable Care Act were passed, another memorial “urging the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services to approve the requested federal Medicaid waivers in order to expand Florida’s Medicaid managed care pilot program statewide,” was approved.
The state has been fighting with the feds for some time now over the implementation of its plan to privatize most of its Medicaid program.