Voters Weigh in on Health Care Mandate

November 3, 2010 ( – State ballot measures to invalidate individual and employer mandates of the nation’s health reform law have received mixed results.

Business Insurance reports that Arizona Proposition 106, approved by about 55% of voters, would amend the state constitution to bar requirements that would force state residents to participate in a health care plan. Oklahoma Health Care Freedom Amendment State Question 756, approved by about two-thirds of voters, would consider any law requiring state residents or employers to participate in a health care plan to be unconstitutional.   

Meanwhile, about 55% of voters in Colorado have rejected Health Care Amendment 63, which would have given state residents the “right of health care choice” and overturn any law that requires individuals to buy health insurance, according to the news report.  

In August, with a vote of 71% for, Missouri citizens approved a state law that says Missouri can’t force people to pay a penalty or fine if they fail to carry health-insurance coverage (see Missouri Voters Approve Rejection of Health Reform Mandate).  

However, under the U.S. Constitution, federal law pre-empts state law, a rule that is being tested by a Virginia court challenge to the federal reform bill (see Virginia Health Reform Challenge Hits Courtroom). Virginia passed a law exempting its citizens from health care mandates prior to enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  

Another lawsuit challenging the government’s authority to require U.S. citizens to obtain health insurance coverage or face a penalty is set for hearing next month in Florida (see Ruling Backing HCR Headed for Appellate Court), and a federal judge in Michigan has already ruled in a case there that the federal health care reform law is constitutional (see Ruling Backing HCR Headed for Appellate Court).