Andrew Gillum proposes constitutional amendment declaring affordable health care ‘a fundamental right of all Floridians’
AP Photo


Andrew Gillum is calling for a constitutional amendment declaring affordable healthcare is a fundamental right for all Floridians.

Gillum, one of three Democrats running for governor in 2018, announced Tuesday he was proposing a constitutional amendment to declare affordable health care a “fundamental right of all Floridians.”

The proposed amendment, according to a ballot summary provided by the Gillum campaign, would add “a new section to Article 1 of the Florida Constitution.”

“The following language shall be added to Article 1 of the Florida Constitution,” reads the draft text of the proposed constitutional amendment provided by the Gillum campaign. “Affordable health care is a fundamental right of all Floridians. In weighing priorities and allocating available resources, the Legislature shall afford the highest consideration to securing this right.”

The announcement comes as the U.S. Senate prepares to consider a health care bill that, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, would leave 22 million more people uninsured by 2026 than the current health care law.

The Senate plan would end the tax penalty that law imposes on people who don’t buy insurance, in effect erasing the so-called individual mandate, and on larger businesses that don’t offer coverage to workers.

It would also cut Medicaid, which provides health insurance to over 70 million poor and disabled people, by $772 billion through 2026 by capping its overall spending and phasing out Obama’s expansion of the program. Of the 22 million people losing health coverage, 15 million would be Medicaid recipients.

“It’s time for Florida to finally enshrine healthcare as a right for all,” said Gillum in a statement. “There is a public trust for the government to care for its citizens, and our state can no longer be ambiguous about that moral obligation. When healthcare is under attack in Washington, we’re going to lean into the challenge of healthcare in the Sunshine State and live our values.”

In Florida, amendments can be proposed to the Constitution through an initiative petition process. According to the Division of Elections, in order for a proposed amendment by initiative to get on the 2018 general election ballot, a petition must be signed by 766,200 voters. Signatures must come from at least 14 of Florida’s 27 congressional districts.

Gillum faces Gwen Graham, a former U.S. representative from Tallahassee, and Orlando businessman Chris King.

_The Associated Press contributed to this report, reprinted with permission.

Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster


  • Dan

    June 27, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    The article is grossly wrong… Fake News. “Of the 22 million people losing health coverage, 15 million would be Medicaid recipients.” is False. 15 million would be those who choose not to purchase unusable due to high Co-Pay and High deductible plans. There are only 15 million on Expanded Medicaid above the poverty rate as much as 350% and are able body adults. Expanded Medicaid continues in this bill… None of these people are from Florida or 18 other states but we are subsidizing the 6 million from NY, CA & Il. FACTS MATTER !!!!

  • Eunice Barnum

    June 28, 2017 at 11:27 am

    It’s about time that one of these “Elected Officials” finally have read the PREAMBLE to the United States Constitution: We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the GENERAL WELFARE, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish THIS constitution for the United States of America.

    As I understand it, The United States Constitution is the Law of the Land. It was then, when they wrote it, it is now, and always shall be because according to ARTICLE VI: THIS Constitution, and the LAWS of the United States which shall be made in PURSUANCE thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in EVERY STATE SHALL BE BOUND THEREBY, ANY THING in the Constitution or Laws of ANY STATE to the CONTRARY NOTWITHSTANDING.

    The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support THIS Constitution.

    Finally, someone have the ability to read and comprehend; and, finally realize that PROMOTE THE GENERAL WELFARE means Health Care. Look up the words general, and welfare. Look it up for yourselves.

    SECTION 8- Powers of Congress: The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts, and Excises, to pay the Debts and PROVIDE for the common DEFENCE and GENERAL WELFARE of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises SHALL BE UNIFORM throughout the United States.

    It’s so stupid to me that it’s quite okay for all of us to pay for all of these Elected Officials to have excellent health care, and life insurance, and take care of them for rest of their lives in some instances; as well as their family members, while they boldly and willfully DENY excellent health care to us, our families, and our children!!

    What’s even more ironic is the fact that we pay them a salary to treat us this way!! They are supposed to have our “Best” interest at heart!! Really? With Elected Officials like these; could they treat us any worse if they were public enemies #1!

    The Public, We the People, are who you all, Elected Officials, are suppose to work for us; not against us!! All political power is inherent in the people.

    When I look at the violations of the Constitutions, and the neglect of duties in all three branches of our government: The Executive Branch, The Legislative Branch, and the Judicial Branch; they have breached my trust!! Have they forgotten that they can’t violate the United States Constitution, nor the State of Florida Constitution which they took a Solemn Oath to support, protect, and defend?

    PREAMBLE to the Constitution Of The State Of Florida: We, the people of the State of Florida, being grateful to Almighty God for our constitutional liberty, in order to secure it’s benefits, perfect our government, insure domestic tranquility, maintain public order, and “GUARANTEE” EQUAL CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS TO ALL, do ordain and establish THIS constitution. Isn’t Health Care a Civil Right?

    NO person shall be deprived of any right because of race, religion, national origin, or physical disability.

    It all begins with the PREAMBLES!!!!! Have you read them? Can you read, comprehend, and obey?

Comments are closed.


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