Ohio voters overwhelmingly rejected health insurance mandates that represent the cornerstone of “ObamaCare,” with two thirds of the electorate voting in favor of a state constitutional amendment prohibiting mandatory participation in any health-care schemes. The ballot initiative was driven forward by a broad coalition including Tea Party groups, conservative activists, and others.
Under the banner of preserving Ohioans' right to choose their own health care, the measure, known as Issue 3, strictly prohibits mandatory health-care programs. Fines and penalties for refusing to purchase insurance or other health services are also banned.
“No federal, state, or local law or rule shall compel, directly or indirectly, any person, employer, or health care provider to participate in a health care system,” notes the new amendment, entitled “Preservation of the freedom to choose health care and health care coverage.”
The measure was so popular that despite opposition from major newspapers and politicians, every singleabram county in Ohio voted to support it — even long-time Democratic strongholds. "We saw an overwhelming reaction against forced health care," explained Ohioans for Healthcare Freedom campaign manager Jeff Longstreth after the vote. "Health care freedom was about giving citizens freedom."
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Photo: Jason Mihalik delivers signatures to the Ohio Secretary of State's office on July 6, 2011, in Columbus, to ask Ohio voters to amend its constitution to prohibit a health insurance mandate: AP Images