Dueling columns: Tobia and Halbert
On March 27, 2010, Rep. John Tobia wrote a guest column for the Florida Today titled “Reform’s Negative Impact.” The column attacked the new health care law as unconstitutional and bad for Florida.
“If allowed to stand, the law will raise taxes, increase deficits, cut Medicare and expand Medicaid while imposing mandates and financial penalties on Floridians. This cannot stand,” Rep Tobia writes in his column.
Rep. Tobia has co-sponsored bills such as House Resolution (HR) 1561 that encourages the attorney general to file suit in federal court if Washington’s health law forces an individual health insurance mandate on Floridians. And House Joint Resolution (HJR) 37, known as the Florida Health Care Freedom Act, amends Florida’s Constitution to prohibit any law from mandating people purchase health insurance.
“Protecting Floridians’ rights and freedoms to make appropriate decisions as it relates to their own health care is one of my top legislative priorities.”
Lori Halbert responded to Rep. Tobia’s column by firing back with her own column on the Florida Today attacking Rep. Tobia’s record.
In her column, Halbert’s write that if Rep. Tobia “had voted like the person who wrote the guest column, I would have never considered running for office against him.”
“I would have been proud to support someone who stands on the core principles of freedom, liberty and individual rights.”
“I agree wholeheartedly with Rep. Tobia’s conclusions about health care,” Halbert states in her column. “I agree that our federal government has reached too far. I agree this bill is an unfunded mandate. I agree the state should fight this law every way it can.”
However, Halbert questions Rep. Tobia’s outrage.
Halbert would like to know where was Rep. Tobia’s outrage “when it was time to accept and spend federal stimulus dollars, he…voted “yes.” And along with that “yes” comes strings in the form of mandates imposed on you and me.”
Furthermore, Halbert blasted Rep. Tobia over his outrage over mandates when he proposed a bill eliminating local government’s ability to give preference to local companies.
Moreover, Rep. Tobia sounds off well about federal government overstepping its bounds, but last year he votes to increase fees Florida taxpayers pay by $2 billion, she claims. Fees such as getting your driver’s license, renewing your vehicular tags or getting a fishing license.
“Rep. Tobia talks like a Florida Republican but votes for more mandates and taxes, and proposes new levels of bureaucracy,” Halbert says.
“This is precisely the kind of posturing and subterfuge we must end in Tallahassee as well as in Washington.”
– David Ventura