The push from both sides on Ohio's Issue 2 has been grabbing a lot of headlines and air-time. But Issue 3 has been getting some recent national attention too...with good reason.
If passed...Issue 3 would do a few basic things. 1) Keep Ohioans from being forced to participate in a healthcare plan. 2) Keep the state from banning your individual purchase or sale of health insurance. 3) Prohibit the state from fining you for that purchase or sale.
At the Federal level, Issue 3 would make the bold statement that a government mandate on individuals to purchase healthcare is unconstitutional.
To boil it down even farther...Ohio's Issue three is an up or down referendum on Federally mandated healthcare...and if passed, could have lasting ramifications on President Obama's "Affordable Care Act".
"It guarantees that Ohio could never be a state like Massachusetts with a large government-forced mandate that you purchase health insurance or participate in the health care system," Jeff Longstreth, campaign manager for Ohioans for Healthcare Freedom, told The-News-Leader.com. He added, "It's about rights. In order to enforce the individual mandate at the federal level, the federal government would have to step on the rights of Ohioans, who have a constitutional right to purchase or not purchase health care."
Opponents to Issue 3 have a much different view of the Tea Party backed amendment.
"Putting such a carelessly conceived and sloppily worded amendment into our state constitution would be an unmitigated disaster," Dale Butland told The-News-Leader.com. He serves as spokesman for Innovation Ohio, a liberal research group. "Issue 3 would also spawn so many legal challenges and lawsuits that it could have reasonably been subtitled the Lawyer's Full Employment Act of 2011."
However, the U.S. Supreme Court, not Ohio voters, will decide the fate of the mandate in the federal health care law, most experts say.
If the U.S. Supreme Court says the Obama health care law is constitutional, Ohio, by referendum or anything else, can TMt override that decision, Republican Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine told the Springfield News Sun. DeWine backs Issue 3.
Ohio, under DeWine TMs leadership, is among 26 states challenging the federal law that has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to rule in the case.
The U.S. Justice Department, supporting the law, also has asked the Supreme Court to take up the dispute.
If the high court takes the case, a decision could come by next June, DeWine told the News Sun.
How are you voting on Issue 3 and why? Do you want to make a statement against "Obamacare"...or do you think passing Issue 3 could have unintended consequences on health care in Ohio?