Ohio

This article is part of the State Status and News series related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

On 04-Apr-2010, one report1) stated that Ohio “Attorney General Richard Cordray will not join other states filing lawsuits against the federal government in attempts to stop mandatory insurance coverage required under the recently passed health care reform package.” However, multiple reports2) confirm that the Attorney General has certified the language of the “Ohio Healthcare Freedom Act”, a ballot initiative which “put a stop to the federal health care mandate in Ohio.” The ballot initiative is led by the Ohio Liberty Council and The Ohio Project.

A state board decided yesterday to split a measure proposed for the fall ballot in response to the recent federal health-care overhaul. Supporters of the issue vow to appeal the ruling to the Ohio Supreme Court.

The Ohio Ballot Board voted 4-0 that a proposed constitutional amendment from the Ohio Liberty Council must be separated into two amendments, both of which would appear on the Nov. 2 ballot if the group collects enough signatures.

The council wants to prohibit the federal, state or local governments from requiring that Ohioans participate in a health-care system or face fines if they don't buy health insurance.

But the Ballot Board decided the proposal should be divided into two proposed amendments: one involving the freedom to choose health care and insurance coverage, and another regarding governance and oversight of health-care matters.

Maurice A. Thompson, an attorney representing the council, said he plans to file a lawsuit in the Ohio Supreme Court early next week to overturn the board's decision and have the issue certified as one proposed amendment.

[…]

In his testimony before the board yesterday, Thompson argued that although the Ohio Liberty Council's proposal has different provisions, they all relate to the central purpose of maintaining the freedom to choose health care.

But board members were concerned that provisions in the proposal could restrict the ability of the legislature to regulate health care and should be addressed separately.

The Universal Health Care Action Network of Ohio also opposed certifying the measure as a single issue, calling the board's decision “a victory for Ohio health-care consumers.”

Niquette, Mark. “Health-overhaul foes object to splitting ballot issue”. Columbus Dispatch. April 10, 2010. Available online as of 2010-04-13.

1) Kovac, Marc. “Ohio Won't Join Suit Against Health Care Reform”. Falls News Press. April 4, 2010. Available online as of 2010-04-05.
2) Delaney, Elizabeth. “Ohio Attorney General Certifies Petition That May Shield Ohioans From Obamacare”. Christianity & Politics Examiner. April 2, 2010. Available online as of 2010-04-05.