Columbus, OH – Supporters today will deliver more than 546,000 signatures to the Ohio Secretary of State to place the Ohio Health Care Freedom Amendment on the November ballot. The amendment would add a 21st Section to Ohio’s Bill of Rights “to preserve the freedom of Ohioans to choose their health care and health care coverage.”
“In Ohio, the initiative process has typically been controlled by special interests that have much to gain, at the expense of the rest of us. This is our first significant effort to limit government,” said Maurice Thompson, Executive Director of the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law. “This amendment, once enacted will not only protect Ohioans’ health care freedom from state and local government, but will also place Ohioans in the nation’s strongest position to challenge invasive elements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This will be the only provision in the nation that explicitly creates a state constitutional right to health care freedom.”
For the amendment to move forward, approximately 386,000 signatures must be declared valid. Internal due diligence indicates that over 440,000 of the collected signatures (over 85 percent) are valid. This is believed to be the most signatures collected by a volunteer-only organization in Ohio history for a constitutional amendment.
The amendment provides as follows:
- In Ohio, no law or rule shall compel, directly or indirectly, any person, employer, or health care provider to participate in a health care system;
- In Ohio, no law or rule shall prohibit the purchase or sale of health care or health insurance; and
- In Ohio, no law or rule shall impose a penalty or fine for the sale or purchase of health care or health insurance.
“This amendment is a reminder of our view, and the founders’ view, that government exists to secure rights, rather than to take from some so as to provide benefits, amenities, and comfort to others,” added Thompson.
The 1851 Center drafted and has represented the amendment’s efforts, including winning a successful challenge before the Ohio Supreme Court to former Secretary of State Brunner’s attempts to prohibit proponents from gathering the signatures needed to place the amendment on the ballot. The Center has vowed to defend the amendment, at no cost to taxpayers, through Election Day and thereafter.
The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law is a non-profit, non-partisan legal center dedicated to protecting the constitutional rights of Ohioans from government abuse. The 1851 Center litigates constitutional issues related to property rights, voting rights, regulation, taxation, and search and seizures.