Ohio's Access to Healthcare Act Petition Gets Certified

Ohio’s proposed Access to Healthcare Act petition was certified by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine last week. If passed, the act would expand Medicaid coverage and give as many as 700,000 Ohioans access to health insurance, as provided by the Affordable Care Act.

In an email Friday afternoon from the Ohio Attorney General's office, DeWine stated he was certifying the proposed initiated law as containing both the necessary 1,000 valid signatures from registered Ohio voters and a "fair and truthful" summary of the proposed amendment.

"The Access to Healthcare Act cleared its first hurdle today when the Attorney General certified its initiated statute petition,” said Jon Allison, spokesperson for Healthy Ohioans Work. “The Healthy Ohioans Work committee demonstrated its depth and commitment by collecting nearly 6,000 signatures in just four days. Now our diverse group of supporters will focus on collecting the necessary 115,574 valid signatures before late December. But most importantly, we will maintain our vigilant advocacy for Medicaid expansion authorization in 2013."

The next step is for the summary language of the Access to Healthcare Act and initial signatures to be certified. The Ohio Ballot Board will then determine if the amendment contains a single issue or multiple issues. Ohio law requires petitioners to collect signatures for each issue from registered voters in at least half of Ohio’s counties, equal to 1.5 percent of the total vote cast in the county for the office of governor at the last gubernatorial election.

Total signatures collected statewide must also equal three percent of the total vote cast for the office of governor at the last gubernatorial election. If enough valid signatures are submitted, the Secretary of State will forward the proposal to the General Assembly, which has four months to act on the proposed law. If the General Assembly fails to pass the law, either in original or amended form, supplemental petitions may be circulated to have the proposal placed upon the next general election ballot, subject to the same signature requirements.

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