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Tea party-supported Issue 3 attempts to block federal health-care mandates

Published: Sat, October 29, 2011 @ 12:09 a.m.

By Marc Kovac



The final issue on next month’s ballot is the one that has been debated the longest among Ohioans.

The tea party-backed Issue 3 is an attempt to block health-care mandates from taking effect in the state, stemming from a federal reform package passed by Congress last year with support from President Barack Obama.

The Ohio Liberty Council, which represents the tea party and affiliated groups statewide, collected signatures for more than a year before submitting them in time to qualify for this year’s general election.

Supporters of the constitutional amendment say it is necessary to block efforts to force people to buy health insurance and health care.

“It guarantees that Ohio could never be a state like Massachusetts with a large government-forced mandate that you purchase health insurance or participate in the health-care system,” said Jeff Longstreth, campaign manager for Ohioans for Healthcare Freedom.

He added, “It’s about rights. In order to enforce the individual mandate at the federal level, the federal government would have to step on the rights of Ohioans, who have a constitutional right to purchase or not purchase health care.”

But opponents of Issue 3 believe it would hurt other state health programs and lead to years of legal challenges.

“Putting such a carelessly conceived and sloppily worded amendment into our state constitution would be an unmitigated disaster,” Dale Butland, spokesman for Innovation Ohio, a liberal research group, said during a September press conference.

“Issue 3 would also spawn so many legal challenges and lawsuits that it could have reasonably been subtitled the Lawyer’s Full Employment Act of 2011,” Butland added.

Issue 3 would prohibit any law or rule that forces individuals, employers or health-care providers to buy or sell health care or insurance or levies a fine against those that choose not to participate. It would cover the new federal law, plus any others attempted in the future at the national, state or local levels.

A “yes” vote would amend the constitution to block insurance and health-care mandates. A “no” would kill the constitutional amendment.

Backers of the amendment acknowledge that the ultimate decision on the federal health-care mandates likely will be made by the U.S. Supreme Court. But they say Ohio’s Issue 3 is still needed to thwart future health-care laws from taking effect in the state and send a message to the rest of the country.

“People have always said, as Ohio goes, so goes the nation,” said Tom Zawistowski, executive director of the Portage County Tea Party and president of the Ohio Liberty Council. “I think what we’re doing here has tremendous ramifications. ... This is vital, this is critical.”

He added, “You can’t as a state repeal Obamacare. It’s not that. ... We think this constitutional amendment does a lot more here in Ohio as far as setting up the rules for what you can and can’t do and what individual rights you retain.”

But opponents of Issue 3 believe the constitutional amendment will lead to future legal challenges and have too many unintended consequences.

And they said the amendment likely would affect workers’ compensation, school immunization, disease tracking and dozens of other state programs, including licensing for doctors and insurance agents.

“It is a very wide, very broad coalition of folks who are concerned about Issue 3 and the fatal flaws that are in this legislation that will lead to decades of litigation and put Ohio in a perilous state when it comes to changing or enforcing laws,” said Brian Rothenberg, executive director of Progress-Ohio, a liberal advocacy group based in Columbus and treasurer of the Vote No On Issue 3 campaign.


1UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

The TEA Party over stepped their tea bag on this one.

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2ytownsteelman(680 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

The voters will decide. I am going to vote yes.

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3Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago


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4timOthy(802 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

I'm voting yes ! I'm favor of Health Care Law.Having Diabetes Type 1. I know personally how hard it is to get a Ins. Company to cover me ,and it's just not me it's the whole Country . And World. I put that World in there for you baggers since you (THINK) you can control the world with your idiot ways. Vote Yes for National Health Care. Hell we pay for people at the emergency room for not having Ins. now ! Why don't you do something about that Ponzi !

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5NoBS(2841 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

Note - Issue 3 will not repeal Obamacare. It will make sure Kasich's Kronies in Ohio's insurance industry don't lose their large pile of gold.

Will we, as a state, still be obligated to help fund Obamacare even though we aren't participating in it? Who knows?

Too many questions, not enough answers.

What happened to the TeaPublicans' promise that the first thing they were going to do once they assumed the majority was to repeal Obamacare? I guess, in their zeal to attack the working middle class, they forgot about that. Just like Kasich forgot that he promised jobs as his number one mission as governor.

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6glbtactivist(321 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

Another example of the greedy Republicans leading their dumb followers with a fake promise. They know Ohio can not reverse a federal law. Yet they sucker their followers into thinking they are working for them when in reality they are just wanting their votes to put them into power to vote to make them richer. Don't be a sucker. Vote no on 3.

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7db(280 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

Obamacare is an insult to every American and welcomed only by the leaches with their hands out. It will bankrupt the country and destroy our healthcare system. Is there any government program effectively run? Nope. You folks who think you're going to get something for nothing simply need to take a trip to Canada and see that a gallon of gasoline is over $12 and bacon & eggs is $30. Their waiting lines for all things medical is often over a year long and rationing is commonplace. The government couldn't even run the Mustang Ranch selling poon & booze after the IRS seized it. Get a grip.

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8pmeoh(6 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

This issue results in a Constitutional Amendment, something that needs to be taken seriously. The problem with Issue 3 is the wording which, in effect, will adversely affect: Workers' compensation; child support enforcement orders; College and University student health insurance coverage; the monitoring of "pill mills"; Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities tax levies; school immunizations and disease tracking; licensing of health care providers and insurance agents; and, COBRA. What it will not affect is Obamacare. The state has no authority over the imposition of federal laws and mandates. So, the issue was devised to stir up those folks who oppose this federal law although it will do nothing to change it. And, it actually results in screwing a lot of citizens in Ohio.

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9MFC997(261 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

Obamacare is in a death spiral ... Issue 3 will only help the preocess ... given the unpopularity of the law nationwide this will pass easily ... good riddance

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10Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

ObamaCare gives you nothing but a fifteen hundred dollar fine for not having insurance . The collection of which will come from your federal tax refund and you get nothing in return . . . ..


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11ytownredux(117 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

The Tea Party has proved itself to be a sham by keeping quiet as the ohio state republicans decided to waste 15m dollars on TWO primaries, when the dems agreed to move it back to the second date and just have 1.

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12db(280 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

Ytonredux, the TEA Party is no sham. We are the only true Americans in politics. More American than the mainstream Republicans. Forget about the Democrats; they have regressed into socialism, redistribution of wealth, & class warfare. In the past three years, since the advent of Obama, Democrats have literally become anti everything America stands for. The TEA Party is who pays the taxes that you Democrats like to absorb. We work so you can be on government programs. The Democratic Party used to be the party of the working man; they now are the party of the non-working man. Come 2012 you fellas better buy some work boots because once we get rid of the Muslim scum in the White House there will again be jobs; not food stamps & welfare.

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13GoPens(397 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

"Come 2012 you fellas better buy some work boots because once we get rid of the Muslim scum in the White House there will again be jobs; not food stamps & welfare"

@db--your racist, anti-Muslim rant just exposed you as a non-credible fraud and gives further credibility to the notion that the Tea Party is nothing but a bunch of kooks that needs to be ignored.

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14db(280 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

GoPens, anti-Muslim? DEFINITELY. Racist: Nope. Have a definite problem with Muslims and you haven't been paying attention or you are one if you do not. BTW, take a short trip to Flint, Michigan if you think your liberal Muslim-loving attitude is correct. You'll find a destroyed city with a Muslim welfare-sucking population bent on the capitulation of America and Christianity. These are not good people who want to live & let live. Grow up, open your eyes, and open your mind; your kind of ignorance is killing America.

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15GoPens(397 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

db--if anyone needs to open up their mind it's people like you who go anonymously on websites and spew your hatred. First off, I'm far from a liberal. Secondly, anyone who makes false statements about any President like you just did and goes on to call him scum, tells us all any sane person needs to know about you and your ilk. Please do this country a favor and leave. Youngstown is pretty destroyed--are you blaming Muslims for that too?

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