Anti-healthcare reform amendment advances in Ohio

Voters in Ohio will likely have the chance to vote on a measure that would challenge a key piece of the healthcare reform law.

A proposed amendment to the state constitution would prohibit the federal government from forcing Ohioans to purchase insurance. The Columbus Dispatch reported Tuesday that the amendment's backers have enough signatures to place the amendment on the Nov. 8 ballot.

Several states have adopted anti-mandate measures, either through their legislatures or a referendum. According to the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council, two states have adopted constitutional amendments disapproving of the new law. Ten have enacted statutory measures, and ballot initiatives are pending in another four.

State law is at the center of Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's lawsuit charging that the individual mandate is unconstitutional. But a panel of federal judges in the case was said to be skeptical of Cuccinelli's argument that a state can pass a law that conflicts with a federal law, then sue to defend it.

Virginia was the only state to get an anti-mandate statute on the books before the federal law passed.