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· October 17, 2011

Two more Ohio newspapers call on voters to reject Issue 3

Over the weekend, the No on Issue 3 effort picked up two more key newspaper endorsements. On Sunday, the Toledo Blade, echoing Innovation Ohio’s analysis, raised a number of important questions about the potential consequences to health care programs in Ohio if Issue 3 were to pass:

Issue 3 would prohibit government-compelled participation by citizens, employers, and medical providers in “a health-care system.” What does that mean? Would it prevent government agencies from gathering information to track the spread of infectious diseases, monitor child immunizations, or crack down on illegal prescription-drug pill mills? Would it enable voters to opt out of paying taxes that help fund hospitals and programs that provide public-health, mental-health, and developmental-disabilities services? Could deadbeat parents refuse orders to buy health insurance for their children? Could employers evade their health-insurance duties under the workers compensation and COBRA programs? Could state universities no longer enforce rules that students must have health insurance? Could Issue 3 even prevent state lawmakers from enacting further restrictions on abortion?
And the Akron Beacon-Journal also weighed in, calling the amendment to Ohio’s constitution “unnecessary bluster” with the “potential to do real harm.” Again echoing Innovation Ohio, the editorial states:
The language of the initiative is written broadly to apply not just to federal laws and rules regarding participation in a health-care system, the sale or purchase of health care and health insurance and related penalties. Issue 3 covers state- and local-level legislation, too.
The Blade and Beacon-Journal join the Columbus Dispatch in encouraging voters to reject Issue 3.
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