TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - A judge removed from the November ballot Thursday a proposed constitutional amendment that would have blocked the state from implementing a health care plan similar to President Barack Obama's federal plan, saying the ballot language would have confused voters.
Circuit Judge James Shelfer said Amendment 9's ballot language could even make voters think they would never have to wait in a doctor's office if the amendment passed. State law requires ballot summaries to be clear and accurate.
The Republican-controlled Legislature passed the proposal in reaction to passage of Democratic President Barack Obama's national health care overhaul. Four voters filed a lawsuit to remove it from the ballot.
The amendment would have blocked Obama's plan in Florida if it could, but legal experts and even one of its sponsors have said it can't do that because federal law is supreme over state law.
Instead, the amendment would have prevented the state from passing a similar law by prohibiting Floridians from being forced to obtain insurance coverage or be penalized if they don't.
It was not immediately known if the amendment's backers will appeal.