A ballot measure that StateImpact Ohio (a creation of local public media and NPR) describes as “a referendum on a constitutional amendment…aimed at keeping the national health care reform law from taking [e]ffect” won in all 88 counties in Ohio. In 81 of the counties, it won by a margin of at least 20 percentage points. Statewide, it won by 32 points (66 to 34 percent).
The measure took particular aim at Obamacare’s individual mandate, stating, “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.”
Voters in Ohio can’t opt out of Obamacare any more than the residents of the other 49 states can, so the measure will have no practical effect. But the message, sent in one of the three largest swing states, could hardly be clearer.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer, which calls the referendum “a strike at President Barack Obama’s health care plan,” reports, “The measure was ahead by a wide margin even in Cuyahoga County — a traditional Democratic stronghold.” With 100 percent of the precincts counted in that county — where Cleveland is located — the referendum won by 16 percentage points (58 to 42 percent).
Perhaps the upcoming election isn’t just — or even mostly — about the economy.