Ohio Voters Reject Senate Bill 5, Obamacare; Mississippi Defeats Anti-Abortion Amendment
Ohio voters last night voted overwhelmingly against both Republican and Democrat corporate-favoring policies in a referendum. Senate Bill 5, passed by the Republican-dominated legislature and signed into law by Republican governor John Kasich, was shot down by sixty-one percent, too large a margin for the GOP to rig the vote count in its favor.
By a reportedly larger margin than Issue 2, Obamacare, the law passed in spring of 2010 in a huge giveaway to the health insurance industry, was voted down at sixty-six percent of the vote, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. However, the constitutional amendment as written would make it extremely difficult to pass meaningful regulations on insurance companies, and pretty much rules out all hope of single-payer health insurance in the Buckeye State.
In Mississippi, voters shot down the anti-abortion amendment proposed by right-wing extremists. The bid to declare life as beginning at conception was defeated 58-42%.
The measure would have bestowed legal rights on fertilized eggs and cut off access to abortion by equating it with murder, making no exception for rape, incest or when a woman’s life is in danger. Medical groups warned it might have criminalized contraception and miscarriages while limiting access to treatments such as in-vitro fertilization.
The voters of Mississippi are smarter than the far right gives them credit for. Cheers to them!
What, however, does the defeat of Issue 2 and the passage of Issue 3 in Ohio mean? It is incredibly easy for Democrats and Republicans, and their spinmeisters in the corporate-owned media, to speculate as to what it means, and many are doing just that. But what it all boils down to is that voters are fed up with far right policies that benefit no one but large business interests. In Massachusetts, for example, according to Physicians for a National Health Program, Romneycare — the insurance giveaway on which Obamacare was modeled — nearly 400,000 people still find health insurance unaffordable, and those people are predominantly the working poor. Given this realization, it is no wonder voters would rather opt out.
On a broader scale, Americans are increasingly hostile to far right policies, be they industry bailouts, invasive laws designed to take away women's reproductive rights, or attempts to restrict voting rights, We the People are starting to fight back against the wave of fascist power grabs. Only time, though, will tell if it's not too little, too late.
Cross-posted from Progressive Independence.