Ohio Voters Reject Health Care Reform

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In what has been described as a stunning defeat to “Obamacare,” Ohio voters soundly rejected the Federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in passing State Issue 3. The margin of those against the Federal health care reform law was surprisingly large, with 66% of voters in favor of opting out of this law and just 34% supporting it. However, did voters really want to opt out of Federal health care reform or is there a larger message to be heard by voters in this November 8, 2011 election cycle?

Ohioans also passed Issue 2, which repealed the restrictive public employee union law championed by Governor Kasich. State Issue 1, which would have risen the age in which judges may serve, also fell to defeat with 62% of voters against raising the age limits. If you look at each statewide issue in this election, it would be simple to read the will of Ohio voters. Unlike other assessments, I think there is something else going on in Ohio and around the nation that most media commentators are overlooking.

As Governor Kasich noted in the repeal of Senate Bill 5, the voters spoke and he heard them loud and clear. But I do not believe he heard voters, nor are other politicians listening. Ohioans did not simply vote against participating in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or against union restrictions. Instead, the voters in Ohio voted against change.

Many people in Ohio, and across the nation, fail to realize that the world we now live in has rapidly changed. Years of failed policies, which impact many areas of our economy, has dwindled America’s purchasing power. Most people, and taxpayer funded government entities, have far less money to work with to meet their most basic needs. While one could argue the merits of each State Issue in Ohio, the fact remains that people are reluctant to support change.

Considering the financial weight being held over our heads, in the form of our national debt and social destruction, change is going to happen. As a society we can either all chip in to help control this change or we can let the financial consequences of our inactions produce uncontrollable change. Regardless of how this change occurs, whether by law or market driven forces, many people are going to be adversely impacted.

Many individuals note that passing State Issue 3 in Ohio will offer a defense against enacting “Obamacare.” Many of these same people have already declared victory in keeping the Federal Government out of Ohioan’s medical decisions. From my point of view, this is not a time to declare victory when 25% of all Americans lack health insurance. It is also not a time to declare victory when 16% of our national GDP is consumed by the health care industry. If anything, now is the time to support change that will drive the cost of health care down and reduce the insurance premiums which cover medical care services. By continuing to ignore the rapidly rising cost of medical care, the trend of excessive yearly premium increases will continue and force many other families to join the ranks of the 25% which are presently uninsured.