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Ohioans set to vote on opting out of health insurance mandate Posted: July 27th, 2011

By Maryalene LaPonsie

This November, Ohio voters will have the opportunity to vote on the federal health insurance mandate. That comes after a coalition group submitted 440,000 petition signatures to put the issue on the ballot. The Ohio Secretary of State certified 426,998 of those signatures, which exceeds the 385,245 needed for a ballot proposal.

The effort, spearheaded by The Ohio Project, will place the Health Care Freedom Amendment before voters. If approved, the amendment would "preserve the freedom of Ohioans to choose their health care and health care coverage." Specifically, the Constitutional amendment would dispute the ability of the federal government to mandate individual health insurance coverage.

At issue is the 2009 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Otherwise known as the health reform law, the federal law will require all residents of the United States to maintain medical insurance by 2014.

"The Healthcare Freedom Amendment initiative on the ballot gives Ohioans a voice to declare their fundamental rights against government healthcare mandates," Alan Witten from the The Ohio Project said in a statement.

Missouri passed a similar ballot proposal in November 2010. In addition, lawsuits have been filed by states, including Florida and Virginia, to block the health insurance mandate.