Proposed Ballot Issue

Proposed Ballot Issue

Message from Diane Wish, President, Ohio Renal Association

You may have seen, read or heard about a potential November 6, 2018 Ohio ballot issue — a proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution that would recklessly lock dangerous dialysis care policy and regulation into the state Constitution.

The amendment’s sponsor — the California-based SEIU-UHW — funded a $4 million paid petition drive in an attempt to collect voter signatures to qualify for Ohio’s November statewide ballot.

On Monday, August 13, 2018, the Ohio Supreme Court found that the sponsor did not follow Ohio law governing signature collection, and deemed the entire petition invalid.  As a result, the proposed amendment failed to qualify for the November 2018 general election.

This is welcome news for the Ohio Renal Association and the more than 20 other kidney care, medical and patient advocacy organizations that lined up to oppose the amendment because of the harm it would bring to the 18,000 Ohioans who rely on the high-quality, life-saving dialysis care provided by the state’s 326 outpatient dialysis clinics.

The proposed amendment sought to increase the already-rigorous regulation of dialysis clinics and to set arbitrary limits on clinic revenues, which could lead many clinics to consolidate services, cut back or close — particularly those in poor, disadvantaged, and rural areas.

Our coalition was confident we could defeat this reckless amendment, however, Monday’s Court decision is a welcome relief.  We look forward to continuing to provide the same high-quality care that our patients expect and deserve.

The amendment sponsor has indicated it intends to bring the issue back in 2019. Our coalition will remain prepared to educate Ohio voters on the dangers of this reckless proposal.   We will also pay attention to events this year in California, where the SEIU-UHW has placed a similar issue on that state’s fall ballot.

On behalf of the members of the Ohio Renal Association, I would like to thank the organizations in our coalition for standing up for Ohio kidney patients and for the hard-working people who care for them.  We appreciate your solidarity and willingness to defend these critical medical services.

Diane Wish, RN
President, Ohio Renal Association

Key facts about this proposed constitutional amendment can be found here.

A statement issued on July 4, 2018 by ORA can be found here.

A statement issued on May 30, 2018 by ORA can be found here.

A statement issued on March 16, 2018 by the ORA Board of Trustees can be found here.