Tag Archives: Issue 3

Collective Bargaining versus Obamacare

By David Zanotti, CEO, The American Policy Roundtable

Partisans and pundits heralded the 2011 Ohio election as a “bell weather indicator” of the 2012 election to come. Ohio voters may have thrown the pundits a bit of a surprise. On Election night Ohio voters threw out Issue 2, a collective bargaining reform bill but at the same time issued a resounding rebuke to Obamacare.

Issue 2 was a referendum against a statute passed by the legislature. Big labor gathered and paid for the petition drive and the ballot campaign. The collective bargaining statute they were protesting was 300-pages long. Ohio voters have a long tradition of voting “No” on any measure that is not clearly presented and well understood. People did not know what was in the statute. Both sides amplified this voter confusion by spending millions on negative commercials. The issue was doomed from the start and the Republicans walked into this defeat with an amazing lack of clarity. In spite of all the above, 39% of voters supported the collective bargaining reforms in Issue 2. A clear 61% rejected Issue 2 and sent it resounding defeat.

Issue 3 was a constitutional amendment placed on the ballot by citizen petition. It was a referendum on Obamacare seeking to exempt Ohioans from mandatory nationalized health care. Granted this is a symbolic approach given that federal law trumps state laws and Ohio is not exactly a bastion of states rights advocacy. The fact the measure passed is remarkable in such a pro-union turnout model, especially since the pro-Issue 3 campaign had no money to spend. That Issue 3 passed with a higher majority (66% for) than the defeat of Issue 2 (61%) is even more substantive. In other words, there was a 5% greater animosity toward Obamacare in the Ohio electorate than the animus toward Governor Kasich’s collective bargaining reforms. In this off election year where union turnout dominated the day, Issue 3 passed in all 88 Ohio counties.

Said another way, 34% of Ohio voters favored Obamacare while 39% of Ohioans favored the collective bargaining reforms. Thus, the pro-union, anti-Kasich turnout on November 8, 2011 is even more distrusting of the current nationalized health care plan than collective bargaining reforms.

Governor Kasich and his allies got their clocks cleaned on Issue 2 on November 8th. If this election is an indicator of things to come, however, the 2012 election may actually become a referendum on Obamacare. Not even the pro-union crowd in Ohio seems to like that idea.

David Zanotti serves as CEO of The American Policy Roundtable an independent, non-profit, non-partisan education and research organization that has been active in Ohio public policy and ballot issues since 1980.

Issue 3, Why Vote Yes?

Issue 3 seeks to preserve the freedom of Ohioans to choose their health care and types of coverage by an amendment to our state Constitution. Issue 3 aims at preventing the democratic party’s socialist version of health care reform from being forced on the citizens of Ohio. As proven in Europe and Canada, compulsory health care increases the overall cost of health care while reducing the quality of care. Those costs have contributed to the severity of the economic turmoil in the Europe.

The compelling case argued for the Obamacare is its claim that no one with an existing medical condition can be denied coverage and that the millions of poor Americans and their children will gain access to adequate health care. Those are two benefits touted by the media and all other proponents of Obamacare.

Obamacare law is supposed to prevention bankruptcy due to catastrophic illness and it will help small business provide health insurance to its employees.

It is also true that Obamacare will cost business more money to implement Obamacare. It will penalize individuals for not signing up for health care and small businesses for meeting the laws imposed of them. Physicians and other health care professionals support Issue 3 for similar reason–it will cost them too much financially and professionally. It will benefit insurance companies by increasing revenues to compensate for insuring people with preexisting illnesses. However, wealthier Americans will pay more for health care in order to compensate for the higher costs incurred by doctors, other health practitioners, and by government. Government-run health care will require more people and resources to run completely socialist health care system. Consequently, Obamacare will require more taxpayers funding. As Obama and his party associates in Congress have made clear, the wealthy are the taxpayers of choice.

Because of bureaucratic inefficiencies, corruption, high costs, fewer quality health professionals and the like, waiting long periods for treatment is common. That is why similar health care system in Canada and Europe are known for “rationing” services to the elderly and disabled. The same is expected under Obamacare, or rationed care.

On principles of inherent human rights alone, a Yes vote is necessary to preserve the enjoyment of what freedom we have left. With regard to efficiency and economy, a Yes vote will ensure government bureaucracy doesn’t destroy the quality of health care we already have.

Health care certainly needs improved, but Obama’s version will not provide it.

Health Policy Institute of Ohio Launches Online Issue 3 Resource Page

The Health Policy Institute of Ohio launched today a page on its website dedicated to providing Ohioans with a non-partisan source for resources and information about state ballot Issue 3.

Issue 3 is a ballot initiative creating a state constitutional amendment aimed at preserving individual health care freedom.

If passed, Issue 3 will amend the Ohio Constitution to include the following language:

“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. In Ohio, no law or rule shall impose a penalty or fine for the sale or purchase of health care or health insurance.”

To provide an understanding of the potential implications of Issue 3, HPIO has included analysis from:

Maurice Thompson, Exec. Director, 1851 Center for Constitutional Law
Janetta King, President of Innovation Ohio

“The purpose of the Health Policy Institute of Ohio is to provide state policymakers with the information and analysis they need to make informed health policy,” said HPIO President Amy Rohling McGee. “In the case of a ballot initiative, the voters are the policymakers and given that Issue 3 is a health policy issue, we wanted to make unbiased information and analysis accessible to Ohio voters.”

Click here to visit the Ohio Issue 3 resource page.

Issue 3 : Should Out-of-State Bookies be Allowed to Operate Casinos in Ohio?

By Citizens For Community Values

Two out-of-state companies are attempting to write their business plan into Ohio’s constitution by creating a monopoly that would allow them to build four casinos in our state.

Penn National Gaming, which currently operates 32 gambling facilities in the U.S. and Canada, has partnered with Dan Gilbert, a billionaire from Michigan, who owns Quicken Loans and the Cleveland Cavaliers, to place ISSUE 3 before the voters on November 3, 2009.

During a recent ISSUE 3 debate at the Cleveland City Club Gilbert was asked a question about his 1981 arrest for illegal bookmaking. (Read the Columbus Dispatch article here.) (Listen to the debate on Podcast here.)

Unidentified Questioner: “I understand you were arrested in the past for illegal bookmaking. So if issue 3 passes can you tell me what crimes do you believe should preclude individuals from getting a gaming license, and specifically is bookmaking one of those crimes?”

Dan Gilbert’s Reply: “Yeah so when I was 18 years old in Michigan State when I was a freshman in the dorm room, we had those you know those little card NFL cards that you play. I don’t know, Bernie might have been playing, I don’t know, and somebody walked into some policeman on the corner, came in and they swept the dorms and they took out four, five, or seven I can’t remember the number, and then they dropped the case a few months later and no money was ever exchanged and that’s what happened to me at Michigan State. But so as far as what crimes, I don’t know, probably murder, rape, extortion of funds, larceny, things like that.”

FACT CHECK…Line by Line

Gilbert said: “Yeah so when I was 18 years old in Michigan State when I was a freshman in the dorm room, we had those you know those little card NFL cards that you play.”

USA Today describes it this way: “Gilbert was arrested with three other students in 1981 on charges of operating a bookmaking ring at Michigan State that handled $114,000 in bets on football and basketball games.’’

Gilbert said: “…somebody walked into some policeman on the corner came in and they swept the dorms…”

Forbes.com describes it this way: “One kid who couldn’t cover his debts panicked and called his father, who alerted the authorities. A wired undercover cop, posing as the kid’s dad, busted the ring. ‘It was a pretty sophisticated operation,’ says Jeffrey Patzer, who prosecuted the case, ‘way above average for what I knew of so-called organized crime.’ ”

Gilbert said: “…then they dropped the case a few months later…”

USA Today describes it this way: “Gilbert was accused of conspiring to violate state gambling laws. He was fined, given three years’ probation and ordered to do 100 hours of community service, the paper said. The felony was dropped after he completed the sentences.”

Anyone can understand the embarrassment of stupid youthful indiscretions, particularly when it has to do with violations of the law. If these are all of the facts, it sounds like Gilbert got off pretty easy.

But with today’s 24-hour newscycles and instant access to so much of the past with a click of the mouse, Gilbert should know that lying about something that is so easily discoverable and getting caught again may well say more about who he is today than who he was when a freshman in college.