Ohio health care measure fails in House - by one vote
By Al Ortiz
COLUMBUS, Ohio: A proposal that allows voters to exempt themselves from national health care mandates has fallen short in the Ohio House of Representatives by one vote. According to reports, the measure needed 60 votes in the chamber in order to make the ballot. The Ohio State Senate had previously voted to pass the measure, with a tally of 24 to 9 during the week of June 15, 2011. The Ohio State Legislature can propose amendments to the ballot, according to Article XVI, if 60% of the members of both chambers agree to it.
Specifically the measure would have stopped any federal or state law from forcing persons, employers or health care providers from participating in a health care system. However, a similar measure, a citizen initiative, is currently proposed for the 2011 ballot as well, and is gathering signatures for ballot placement.
A coalition of Tea Party groups and other groups announced on April 22, 2011 that it has collected more than 300,000 signatures. Supporters have until July 6, 2011 to collect the 385,245 signatures from registered voters that are required for an initiated constitutional amendment to obtain ballot access. This number represents 10% of the votes cast for governor in the most recent election. In addition, signatures must be gathered from 44 of Ohio's 88 counties.
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