The march toward a clean sweep of newspaper editorial endorsements against Issue 3 continues.
Friday, the Canton Repository (a usually reliable "conservative" newspaper) joined the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Columbus Dispatch, Akron Beacon Journal and Toledo Blade in urging a "No on Issue 3" vote.
The issue: State Issue 3
Our view: Passage won't affect federal law but will invite unintended consequences
State Issue 3 on the Nov. 8 ballot is a symbolic gesture of opposition to one part of the new federal health care law. But if voters approve Issue 3, it can do concrete damage in Ohio just the same.
The Repository editorial board believes voters should reject Issue 3.
This proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution would forbid "any law or rule" from compelling, "directly or indirectly, any person, employer, or health care provider to participate in a health care system." This and other provisions relate to the mandate in the 2010 federal law that all Americans buy health insurance.
Passage of Issue 3 would have no impact on the federal law, however. Courts will decide its fate, not voters in Ohio or any other state.
On that level, passage of Issue 3 would be merely symbolic. The problem is in the vague language of the amendment, which contains such squishy phrases as "health care system," "directly or indirectly" and "any person." Some legal experts predict confusion and legal challenges for years that could prevent action in the state Legislature, courts and elsewhere on a host of health-related issues.