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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ohio Issue 3

Proposed Constitutional Amendment
                                                                Issue 3

Proposed by Initiative Petition

To adopt Section 21 of Article I of the Constitution of the State of Ohio

A majority yes vote is necessary for the amendment to pass.

The proposed amendment would provide that:
1. In Ohio, no law or rule shall compel, directly or indirectly, any person, employer, or
health care provider to participate in a health care system.
2. In Ohio, no law or rule shall prohibit the purchase or sale of health care or health
3. In Ohio, no law or rule shall impose a penalty or fine for the sale or purchase of
health care or health insurance.
The proposed amendment would not:
1. Affect laws or rules in effect as of March 19, 2010.
2. Affect which services a health care provider or hospital is required to perform or provide.
3. Affect terms and conditions of government employment.
4. Affect any laws calculated to deter fraud or punish wrongdoing in the health care

If approved, the amendment will be effective thirty days after the election.

Shall the amendment be approved?


  • Ohio Consumers for Health Coverage argued that the proposed amendment was an attempt to block the federal health care reform bill without offering alternative options. In a statement, according to reports, the organization said,"If people are allowed to buy insurance only when they need it, insurance will get too expensive for everyone."[11]
  • Opponents of the measure claim that the wording of the proposal submitted by supporters was poorly drafted. Opponents say that the broad proposal interferes with other state laws. Among those who claim this are Jessie Hill and Maxwell Mehlman, Case Western Reserve University law professors. They stated that the language contains the banning of new health care mandates passed after March 2010, which means that this could effect further possible changes to workers' compensation, child support orders and a proposal dealing with prescription drug abuse.[20]
  • Brian Rothenberg, treasurer of the "No On Issue 3" political action committee stated: "We're trying to explain to folks that the stated purpose will have no net effect, but (Issue 3) will cost heavily in litigation. In the end, we'll have to have a number of court fights to figure out what this means."[21]


  • The Columbus Dispatch stated in an editorial: "...trying to counter the federal law with an ineffective amendment to the Ohio Constitution is a bad idea. This is not where that battle should be fought. Ohioans, including those who agree with The Dispatch that the federal health-care overhaul is deeply flawed, should vote no on State Issue 3."[22]
  • The Akron Beacon Journal stated: "The concern, as analysts point out, is what happens to laws that have been passed since then and how Issue 3 would restrict future amendments to existing laws, among them child support enforcement orders, school immunization requirements, health data collection for public health purposes and court-ordered treatment programs. Issue 3 deserves a resounding “no.”"[23]
  • The Athens News wrote: "When you go into the voting booth on Nov. 8, be prepared to perform an election "two-fer" — vote a resounding NO for both state Issue 2 (the referendum on S.B. 5) and state Issue 3. Both are blatant examples of ideological over-reaching and in no way promote good government in our state."[24]
  • The Cleveland Plain Dealer editorial board argued: "This ill-conceived amendment to Ohio's Constitution won't do what it promises and it might do much harm. Voters need to reject Issue 3."[25]
  • The Toledo Blade also endorsed a 'no' vote, writing: "Ohio voters need not, and should not, risk this sort of harm merely to enable Mr. Obama's partisan detractors to score political points. Vote NO on Issue 3."[26]


2011 initiative

A coalition of Tea Party groups and other groups announced on April 22, 2011 that it had collected more than 300,000 signatures towards ballot placement for 2011. Supporters had until July 6, 2011 to collect the 385,245 signatures from registered voters that are required for an initiated constitutional amendment to obtain ballot access. This number represents 10% of the votes cast for governor in the most recent election. In addition, signatures must be gathered from 44 of Ohio's 88 counties.[29]
Reports confirmed that health care amendment supporters filed approximately 546,000 signatures by the July 6, 2011 petition drive deadline, more than the 385,245 needed to make the ballot. Reports are also stating that the secretary of state's office has until July 26, 2011 to verify those signatures.[30][31][32]
The measure was certified for the ballot before that deadline that the measure did indeed collect enough signatures for ballot access.[33]
Health care on the ballot in 2011



Legislative version

The Ohio State Legislature can propose amendments, according to Article XVI, if 60% of the members of both chambers agree to it. During the week of June 15, 2011, the Ohio State Senate voted 24 to 9 to place on the ballot. The proposal now goes to the House, where a similar vote must take place for the measure to obtain ballot access.[42]
On June 17, 2011, the Ohio House of Representatives voted on whether to send the measure to the voters or not, needing 60 votes to do so. The measure came up short, with 59 votes in favor of the measure. The final tally was 59 to 39. The legislative version was not sent to the ballot.[43]

National lawsuit

Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray  announced in late March 2010 that he would not be joining a national lawsuit challenging the federal government's recently approved health care law. Cordray said he believed the lawsuits are "without merit and would be a waste of taxpayer dollars."[45]
With United States President Barack Obama signing the newly passed federal health care bill into law, many states began preparing themselves to combat the health care mandates that are on the verge of taking place across the country. Some states have pending initiatives or legislative referrals for the statewide ballots, however, in other states attorney generals are joining in a national lawsuit.[46][47]

The bottom line is--State Issue 3 is out to undo President Obama's Health Care Plan--A Plan that Is very much need, speaking as one of the many, many Americans who does not have any medical coverage, since where I work there is none offered and to buy my own is far too expensive for me to afford.