2011 Statewide Ballot – Healthcare Mandate Issue Makes Cut
Ohio Voters not only will decide the future of limits on public worker collective bargaining, but they will decide whether Ohio should opt out of a crucial part of the federal healthcare law. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted this morning said opponents of the healthcare overhaul collected nearly 427,000 signatures, some 42,000 more than they needed to qualify. The question asks voters to change the state constitution to exempt Ohio from the part of the law that mandates people buy health insurance or face penalties.
The liberal group Progress Ohio questions the petitions. It released a statement saying , “We continue to have hundreds of volunteers reviewing the petition forms and we’re finding that about 20% of them have errors, many of them being fatal errors. We have until August 5th to file challenges and we expect to have quite a few.”
Even if voters approve the ballot issue, there are questions whether the state constitution would trump the federal law. The Obama administration argues Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce would nullify the proposed Ohio exemption.