Ohioans can vote to block health care reform

By John O'Brien | Aug 15, 2011


COLUMBUS, Ohio (Legal Newsline) - Ohio voters will have the chance to vote on a proposed amendment that would attempt to prevent federal health care reform from being implemented in the state.

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled unanimously Friday against a challenge filed by ProgressOhio, which said a petition used to put the amendment on the ballot did not contain enough valid signatures. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine defended the Secretary of State's Office against the challenge.

The petition contained more than 426,000 signatures but needed only 385,245, Bloomberg reported.

"Relator's legal claims lack merit, and the secretary of state's construction of the applicable statutory provisions is reasonable and is entitled to deference," the court wrote.

"Part-petitions of compensated circulators are not improperly verified and subject to invalidation simply because the circulators, who might actually be independent contractors, listed the entity or individual engaging or paying them to circulate the petition as 'the person employing' them."

Ohio is a part of the 26-state lawsuit that challenges a provision of the health care law that requires individuals who do not purchase health insurance to pay a $695 annual penalty. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit ruled for the states Friday.

From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at jobrienwv@gmail.com.

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