COLUMBUS, Ohio, July 29, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Voters in Ohio may get the chance to decide on a constitutional amendment that would prohibit both the state and federal government from forcing state citizens to buy health insurance.
The Associated Press reports that Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted believes it is more than likely that the November 8 ballot will have a proposed constitutional amendment that would effectively opt-out the state from the national health care reform law known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
Individuals, employers, and health care providers would not be required to participate in a health care system under the amendment, and the state could not mandate health coverage.
According to the AP, Husted said that he counted 427,000 valid signatures out of 546,000 petitions submitted on behalf of the amendment. The number is well over the threshold of 358,000 valid signatures to get the amendment on the ballot in November.
Jeff Longstreth, campaign manager for Ohioans for Healthcare Freedom, told the AP that a Tea-Party coalition with 35,000 volunteers is ready to raise money and turn out voters on behalf of the amendment.
“This issue would not be on the ballot without the blood, sweat and tears of thousands and thousands and thousands of volunteers,” he said. “The message is clear: keep health care between doctors and patients, and keep bureaucrats out of it.”
Pro-life groups have argued that PPACA opens floodgates of federal money to the abortion industry, and have advocated that states at least opt-out of elective abortion coverage in the state health exchanges that go into effect in 2014.
The AP reports that Chris Long, spokesman for the Ohio Christian Alliance, said his network of churches would be advocating for the amendment, saying it is “an outrage that taxpayer dollars would go to abortion on demand.”
Ohio is already involved in a multi-state challenge to the federal government over PPACA on the basis that the health care mandates on individuals and the states has no basis in the US Constitution and violates the 10th Amendment.