Voters will get the chance to decide whether Ohio can opt out of the national health care overhaul after the state’s top election official said Tuesday that opponents of the federal law have enough signatures to put a constitutional amendment on the Nov. 8 ballot.
Secretary of State Jon Husted determined that supporters of the amendment, which would prohibit Ohio from participating in the federal Affordable Care Act, had gathered 427,000 valid signatures. They had submitted more than 546,000 and needed roughly 358,000 of them validated to make it on to the ballot.
The amendment will find itself on the ballot alongside a measure to repeal a contentious new collective bargaining law. Advocates expect that the two measures will drive people to the polls, which are typically under-visited in off-year elections.
And oh my, the leftwingnut brigade has their panties twisted over possible invalid signatures:
A liberal policy group, however, said it could file a challenge to the health care measure, because it was still finding invalid signatures in its review.
Invalid signatures, like the thousands of falsified names and addresses ACORN produced for Obama.
A coalition of tea party organizations, small government advocates and religious groups gathered the signatures to get the health care measure on the ballot and now plan to mount a statewide campaign in support of it.
The coalition has more than 35,000 volunteers, an “army of grass roots support,” ready to mobilize to raise money to turn out voters in November’s election, said Jeff Longstreth, campaign manager for Ohioans for Healthcare Freedom, a group that played a large role in the petitions.
“This issue would not be on the ballot without the blood, sweat and tears of thousands and thousands and thousands of volunteers,” Longstreth said. “The message is clear: keep health care between doctors and patients, and keep bureaucrats out of it.”
The measure would change the Ohio Constitution to prohibit any federal, state or local law from forcing Ohio residents, employers or health care providers to participate in a health care system. It also would prevent the state from enacting a Massachusetts-style health care program, where the state requires a minimum level of insurance coverage.
If passed, the amendment would not apply to any law or rule in effect before March 19, 2010, so as not to prohibit Ohioans for participating in programs such as Medicare.
When the polls open, I’ll be one of the first in line.