Michigan Healthcare Amendment (2010)

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The Michigan Health Care Amendment did not appear on a November 2, 2010 ballot in the state of Michigan as an initiated constitutional amendment. The measure called for exempting residents of Michigan from national health care mandates. Supporters of the proposed measure fell short of the minimum required signatures to qualify the measure for the 2010 ballot.[1] On July 6, a day after the deadline, Rep. Tom McMillin and Sen. Wayne Kuipers said they planned to introduce legislation when the Legislature resumed session on July 21.[2][3]

The effort was initiated on March 22, 2010, following the March 21 vote by the federal House of Representatives to approve a national health care reform act proposed by President Barack Obama.[4][5]

The measure was modeled after the Arizona Health Insurance Reform Amendment which was scheduled to appear on the November 2010 Arizona ballot.[6]

Previously, Sen. Wayne Kuiper proposed a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, however, the legislation failed to collect the required two-thirds votes. Lawmakers indefinitely postponed a second vote.[7] According to reports, Rep. Tom McMillin initiated the petition.[8] However, on March 30, 2010 state lawmakers announced that at least two new proposals were introduced in the Senate and two in the House.[9]


On March 16, 2010 a proposed constitutional amendment, also known as Senate Joint Resolution K, failed to collect the required two-third votes to move the measure to the ballot. According to reports, lawmakers indefinitely postponed a second vote. SJR K was proposed by Sen. Wayne Kuipers. The measure called for prohibiting a federal mandate that requires a person, employer or health care provider to participate in a "nationwide federal health exchange program." Senate Democrats argued that the proposed resolution would do more harm than good. Opponents argued that the resolution could risk federal funds to state programs. However, supporters argued that the federal health care plan would cost the state approximately $700 million.[7]

On March 30, 2010 state lawmakers announced that at least two new proposals were introduced in the Senate and two in the House.[9]


On Monday, March 22, 2010 supporters held a rally to kick off their efforts to place a state health care amendment measure on the statewide ballot. Wendy Day, president of Common Sense in Government said, "Washington has overstepped their authority...Our state legislature has also fallen down on the job. They were given an opportunity to stand up and be brave and fight on our behalf against Washington, and they have not done that. So we have decided...that we're gonna take this issue into our own hands."[10]


See also: Polls, 2010 ballot measures
  • According to a April 2010 poll by EPIC-MRA of 600 registered voters polled on the topic of health care in Michigan 48% said the new law is bad, and 45% said it's good. The margin of error was 4.9%.[11][12]

Path to the ballot

See also: Michigan signature requirements

In order to qualify for the November 2, 2010 statewide ballot a minimum of 382,129 valid signatures were required by July 5.[13] However, as of the statewide petition drive deadline supporters did not have sufficient signatures to qualify for the 2010 ballot.[14][15]

Similar measures in other states

Groups in Indiana, Minnesota, North Dakota and New Mexico also considered a similar proposal. Two of those states (North Dakota and Wyoming) allow ballot initiatives; in the other three states, the state legislature would have had to vote it onto the ballot using their state's procedure for constitutional amendments.[16]

National lawsuit

Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox, candidate for governor, announced that he joined a national lawsuit to try to block federal health care legislation approved by the U.S. House of Representatives on Sunday, March 21 and signed by President Barack Obama on March 23.[17]

With United States President Barack Obama signing the newly passed federal health care bill into law, many states began preparing themselves to combat the health care mandates that were on the verge of taking place across the country. Some states proposed initiatives or legislative referrals for the statewide ballots, however, in other states attorney generals joined in a national lawsuit.[18][19]

See also

Suggest a link


Additional reading


  1. Detroit Free Press, "Healthcare reform opt-out drive falls short in Michigan," July 6, 2010
  2. The Detroit News, "State reps announce opt-out bill for federal health care," July 6, 2010
  3. Associated Press, "Healthcare, gambling proposals don't make ballot," July 9, 2010
  4. Associated Press, "Drive to exempt Mich. from fed health care starts," March 22, 2010
  5. Lansing State Journal, "Healthcare reform still a hot topic for Michigan elections," April 13, 2010
  6. Associated Press, "Mich. activists seek to exempt state from U.S. health-care changes," March 22, 2010
  7. 7.0 7.1 Examiner, "Senate fails test: Constitutional health care amendment vote postponed," March 19, 2010
  8. Central Michigan Life, "In-state movement petitions against new health care law, could be seen by voters in November," March 24, 2010
  9. 9.0 9.1 Daily Press & Argus, "Michigan legislature launches proposals to give residents health care options," March 30, 2010
  10. Associated Press, "Drive to exempt Mich. from fed health care starts," March 22, 2010
  11. Michigan Free Press, "Dem hopefuls trail GOP choices in governor's race, poll shows," April 7, 2010 (dead link)
  12. Michigan Free Press, "Health reform a hot-button topic," April 7, 2010
  13. Tri-County Times, "Volunteers collecting signatures to put health care issue on ballot," May 23, 2010
  14. FOX 28, "Initiatives fail to make Michigan ballot," July 6, 2010
  15. The Michigan Messenger, "No new referendums on November ballot," July 6, 2010
  16. Fox News, "State Lawmakers Considering Move to Opt Out of Federal Health Care," June 25, 2009 (dead link)
  17. The Grand Rapids Press, "Grand Rapids group signs petition to block national health reform," April 7, 2010
  18. Fox News, "Obama to Sign Landmark Health Reform Bill," March 23, 2010
  19. CNN, "Obama signs health care reform bill, aims to promote it on the road," March 23, 2010