The people of the Buckeye State voted 66% to 34% for Issue Number 3, a proposed state constitutional amendment that is supposed to “preserve the freedom of Ohioans to choose their health care and health care coverage.”
The amendment is supposed to free Ohio residents from any laws, such as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA), that require them to own health coverage.
The amendment also is supposed to prohibit any law from requiring an employer or health care provider to participate in a health care system.
The amendment is not supposed to affect any laws or rules in effect as of March 19, 2010; affect which services a health care provider or hospital is required to perform or provide; affect terms and conditions of government employment; or affect any laws calculated to deter fraud or punish wrongdoing in the health care industry.
The amendment is supposed to be effective 30 days from Election Day.
Supporters said in an official statement supporting that measure that it would keep doctors in Ohio, make it harder for government to force people to “support the unhealthy lifestyles and choices of others,” and “reduce government regulations that drive up health care costs.”
“The state of Massachusetts mandates the purchase of government-dictated health insurance, and has the highest health care costs in the United States,” supporters said.
Opponents said the ballot issue was “an attempt by some to take away the ability of Ohio to implement health care reforms.”
The measure would let insurers keep people with medical problems, including children, from getting health insurance, and it would let insurance companies impose annual and lifetime caps on health care coverage, opponents said.
The measure won on the same day that a measure popular with Republicans, Issue 2, which would have limited public employees’ union bargaining rights, lost 39%-61%.