Ohio Liberty Council and Tea Party Groups Challenge Obamacare with Constitutional Amendment

The Ohio Liberty Council, a statewide coalition of over 25 grassroots groups including the Dayton Tea Party, submitted a proposed state constitutional amendment on Monday, March 22, that will “preserve the freedom of Ohioans to choose their health care and health care coverage.” The amendment, drafted by the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, would protect Ohioans from the financial burdens and individual mandates contained in the new federal health care measure passed by Congress. The group filed constitutional amendment summary language and nearly 3,000 signatures from registered voters in 48 counties with the Ohio Secretary of State and Attorney General.

“The health care reform bill’s requirement to maintain minimum essential coverage essentially asserts that if you are alive, you must buy health insurance that is acceptable to the federal government. However, the mere act of being alive is not commerce that can be regulated by the federal government,” said 1851 Center Executive Director Maurice Thompson. “Accordingly, the legislation is constitutionally tenuous, and will take a backseat to our constitutional amendment, which upon enactment, will be a fundamental right amongst all Ohioans.”

The amendment provides that:

  • 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.

The amendment does not:

  • Affect laws or rules in effect as of March 19, 2010
  • Affect which services a health care provider or hospital is required to perform or provide
  • Affect terms and conditions of government employment; and
  • Affect any laws calculated to deter fraud or punish wrongdoing in the health care industry.

This constitutional amendment will do what our leaders in the Statehouse and Congress have failed to do – protect Ohioans from federal mandates on personal behavior.

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