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Understanding Amendments 1 & 6 Before Election Day

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A Miami-Dade County Elections Department voting machine during pre-election testing. (Source: CBS4)

A Miami-Dade County Elections Department voting machine during pre-election testing. (Source: CBS4)

David-Sutta-600x450 David Sutta
David Sutta joined the CBS4 news team in April of 2007. As S...
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CAMPAIGN 2012
campaign 2012 new2 Understanding Amendments 1 & 6 Before Election Day

MIAMI (CBS4) — This week CBS4 is taking a closer look at the 11 constitutional amendments you are being asked on the November ballot.  The questions in some cases are more than a page long.

Amendment 1 deals with abortion and Amendment 6 challenges President Barack Obama’s Affordable Health Care Act.

AMENDMENT 1

The first amendment voters will see is largely a symbolic question more than anything.  Amendment 1, Health Care Services, is basically a repeal of the Affordable Health Care act or Obamacare as some call it.

In 2009 when President Obama pushed through his healthcare reform with the help of a Democratic Congress there was a lot of push back.  “Our pledge was to repeal Obamacare because it is going to increase spending, increase taxes and destroy jobs in America,”  Republican representative John Boehner said after the bill passed.

The act, meant to overhaul healthcare coverage and reduce costs, requires everyone to purchase health insurance in 2014.   Newly elected Florida Governor Rick Scott voiced opposition to the bill as well.  “This isn’t going to drive down the costs of health care and with Medicaid it’s a 1.9 billion dollar bill we are giving to taxpayers,” Scott said.

In response to the outrage, the Republican majority in the Florida legislature wanted to give voters the choice over whether to ban the Affordable Health Care Act in Florida.  Regardless of whether it is voted up or down though federal law supersedes state law.  Basically Amendment 1 is an opportunity to say Florida either supports or opposes the heath care reform.

AMENDMENT 6

The same symbolism in amendment one can be found in part of amendment six.  Amendment six prohibits public funding of abortions.  It’s against federal law to use taxpayer money for abortions with a few exceptions such as rape or physical injury.  This would just make it part of the state law.

A second part of amendment 6 though would have major impact on women’s privacy laws.  As it stands today Florida residents enjoy a right to privacy.  A yes vote on amendment six would eliminate this privacy provision.  Opponents say the amendment could pave the way for parental notification laws involving pregnant minors.  They believe it could also provide for laws to require doctors to advise patients about abortion alternatives.

Supporters of amendment six include Citizens for Protecting Taxpayers and Parental Rights.  On the opposition is Planned Parenthood among others.

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