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Issue to block federal health care in Ohio cleared for November ballot

Published: Wed, July 27, 2011 @ 12:06 a.m.

By Marc Kovac



Secretary of State Jon Husted has signed off on a third issue to appear on the November ballot — a constitutional amendment to block federal health-care mandates from taking effect in the state.

County elections boards verified and Husted certified 426,998 of the nearly 553,000 signatures submitted, well above the 385,245 needed to qualify for the ballot.

“It’s clear Ohioans want the freedom to choose the health-care options that are best for them and their families,” Jeff Longstreth, campaign manager for Ohioans for Healthcare Freedom, said in a released statement after the results were released. “Ohioans want patients and doctors to make health-care decisions, not government regulators.”

In the Mahoning Valley, the number of people who signed the petitions, by county, were: Trumbull, 4,899; Mahoning, 3,118; and Columbiana, 2,220.

The amendment is the third issue to qualify for the November ballot.

Last week, the secretary of state certified more than 915,000 signatures submitted as part of an effort to repeal Senate Bill 5, the controversial collective-bargaining legislation signed into law by Gov. John Kasich earlier this year.

Voters also will decide on a lawmaker-driven constitutional amendment to raise the cutoff age for Ohioans wanting to assume judicial seats.

The Ohio Ballot Board is scheduled to meet next week to finalize the wording that will appear on the November ballot for all three issues.

The health-care amendment would prohibit any law or rule that forces individuals, employers or health-care providers to buy or sell health care or insurance or that levies a fine against those who choose not to participate.

It’s an attempt to block portions of the federal health-care reform package passed by Congress last year with the support of President Barack Obama.

“Government-mandated health care will cost Ohio jobs,” Ohio Republican Party Chairman Kevin DeWine said in a released statement. “The Health Care Freedom Amendment’s certification by the secretary of state represents a stunning rebuke of President Obama’s failed domestic agenda.”

But at least one group is indicating a legal challenge on the ballot issue, however. ProgressOhio, a liberal advocacy group, is reviewing the petitions submitted for the amendment.

“We have until Aug. 5 to file challenges, and we expect to have quite a few,” Brian Rothenberg, executive director, said in a released statement.


1northsideperson(366 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

What is the point of this, since it won't change federal law? Or is it really to get a bigger turnout in support of SB5?

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2jimjim(5 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

It will make it Ohio law. Enough government intrusion into our lives and our pockets.

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3valleyred(1102 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago


The Ohio Project was created a few weeks after the bill was signed into law. They have been working on this WELL BEFORE John Kasich was our Governor and before SB5 was passed into law.

However it will play a pivotal role in voter turnout in November. Tea Party vs. Labor Unions.

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4300(573 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

Valleyred, don't be naive. If they started right away, then that referendum could've been on the ballot last year.

This is all about cynical politics at it's finest. Just like the gay marriage referendum, this is being used to bring people out who will vote against the challenge to the GOP (Kerry back in 2005, SB5 now). At this point, the GOP is the only party to have employed this technique of adding a referendum to bleed over to a more important vote that they want.

It's shameful, it's despicable, and it's what Republicans have become since the Newt Gingrich entered the scene (with all due respect to Lee Atwater and Karl Rove, neither of them were ever able to lead publicly this type of politics).

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5FrontRowJoe(8 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

You want health care? Get a job, any job, and pay for it. I do not bust my butt everyday to pay for you. My family comes first, you want free health care with no job, go to Cuba.

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6taxpayer1001(274 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

300-Just from reading the huge response to SB5, I don't think people need a different reason to vote this year. It may be the other way around with bring out voters

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7300(573 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

Taxpayer, you need to pay more attention to sequence of things.

People are against SB5 because it's the biggest jab at the middle class we've ever seen.

It's a formulated effort by the GOP, since they'll lose many Republican who are also public workers (a moronic that any public worker would ever vote Republican, but many did in the past). They think, however, that the financial gains they'll receive when unions no longer spend any money during elections will counter a short-term set back.

They might be right, but hopefully this will all be corrected when the law's repealed.

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