Supporters of Mass. assisted suicide ballot measure concede defeat

Meanwhile, among the many ballot items across the country, Florida voters rejected an effort to block some of the federal health law's requirements and limits on abortion. But voters in Alabama, Missouri and Wyoming approved measures to curb the reach of the health law.

The Associated Press/Boston Globe: Backers Of Mass. Assisted Suicide Measure Concede
Supporters of a ballot question legalizing physician-assisted suicide for the terminally ill in Massachusetts have conceded defeat, even though the vote is too close to call. A spokesman for the Death With Dignity Act campaign said in a statement early Wednesday that "regrettably, we fell short." With 93 percent of precincts reporting early Wednesday, opponents of the measure were ahead by about 38,000 votes (11/7).

Politico Pro: Massachusetts Voters Turn Against Assisted Suicide Measure
Massachusetts voters have delivered a surprising defeat to the so-called Death with Dignity movement, narrowly rejecting a measure that would have allowed doctors to prescribe life-ending medication to certain terminally ill patients. The Associated Press had not officially declared the outcome, but backers of the ballot measure conceded defeat early Wednesday. With 93 percent of precincts reporting, the measure was trailing 51 percent to 49 percent -; a 38,000-vote deficit out of more than 2.7 million votes cast (Cheney, 11/7).

USA Today: Voters In 38 States Decide Sweeping Ballot Initiatives
The (Massachusetts) issue had been hotly debated in the heavily Catholic state. Similar laws have passed in Oregon and Washington. Thirty-four states prohibit assisted suicide outright, while Massachusetts and six others ban it through common law. Montana's Supreme Court ruled that state law doesn't prohibit doctors from helping patients die (Weise, 11/7).

The Hill: Florida Voters Reject Measure Limiting Abortion Rights
Voters in Florida defeated a measure that would amend the state constitution to limit abortion rights and bar public funds from supporting the procedure. Forty-four percent of voters backed Amendment 6, according to The Associated Press -; far less than the 60 percent needed for its enactment. The measure would have prevented state employees from using their healthcare coverage for abortions except in cases of rape, incest or when the woman's life is threatened (Viebeck, 11/6).

The Wall Street Journal: Florida Rejects Health Law Measure
Voters in Florida threw out a proposal to try to block the federal health law's requirement that people purchase insurance or pay a penalty by amending the state's constitution. … Voters rejected the measure by a slim margin, suggesting that the strength of hostility to the individual mandate had waned slightly. Three other states, Alabama, Montana and Wyoming, were weighing similar provisions (Radnofsky, 11/6).

The Associated Press: Florida Health Care Amendment Goes Down To Defeat
Florida voters have rejected a proposal that would have banned government mandates for obtaining insurance such as required by President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. The proposed state constitutional amendment required 60 percent approval but didn't even have a majority with most of the vote counted Tuesday. It was favored by 48 percent and opposed by 52 percent (11/6).

CNN: Florida Voters Defeat Initiative Against Obamacare
The initiative was brought in opposition to the Affordable Care Act, the federal health care legislation also known as Obamacare. Had it passed, the result would have been mostly symbolic in the aftermath of a Supreme Court ruling earlier this year that upheld the constitutionality of the legislation (Crawford, 11/7).

The Associated Press: Mo. Voters Limit Governor's Power On Health Care
Missouri voters have passed a ballot measure limiting the governor's ability to implement part of President Barack Obama's health care law. Voters approved a law Tuesday prohibiting the governor or his administration from taking any steps toward establishing an online health insurance exchange unless specifically authorized to do so by a state law or vote of the people (11/6).

The Hill: Health Care Law Faces New Road Bump In Missouri
Voters in Missouri approved a measure Tuesday that will hamper its governor's ability to implement President Obama's healthcare law. The law will prohibit the governor from creating an insurance exchange unless the move is authorized by the state legislature or by a ballot initiative. Given the makeup of the statehouse, the measure's approval Tuesday all but ensures that Missouri will have a federally run exchange (Viebeck, 11/7).

CNN: Alabama Voters Send Anti-Obamacare Message
In saying yes to Amendment 6, voters chose to prohibit individuals and businesses from being compelled to participate in any health care system. The initiative is considered largely symbolic since Obamacare would still be available to people anyway (Barnett, 11/7).

CNN: Wyoming Voters Send Anti-Obamacare Message
Wyoming residents voted strongly against Obama's signature health care reform law, commonly referred to as "Obamacare", which requires individuals and businesses to purchase health insurance for themselves or their employees. The ballot initiative will amend the state constitution to declare that citizens of Wyoming have the right to make their own health care decisions and allows the state to act to "preserve these rights from undue government influence" (Rizzo, 11/7).

Meanwhile, an effort to improve wages for home health workers fails in Michigan.

Detroit Free Press: Michigan Unions' Gamble Doesn't Pay Off
It was a bad night for organized labor, which also saw the defeat of Proposal 4, the home health care initiative backed by the Service Employees International Union.It was headed for defeat about 59% to 41%, according to indicator precincts. Proposal 4 would have created a Michigan Quality Home Care Council and required background screening and a registry for home health care workers. But it would also continue what's been described as a "dues skim" by which the SEIU collects about $6 million a year from the pay of home health care workers, many of whom are caring for family members (Egan, 11/7). 

Detroit News: Home Health Care Proposal Fails Without Organized Opposition
Michigan voters rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that would have guaranteed a minimum wage and unionization to tens of thousands of home health care workers. Though nearly $8 million was raised by Citizens for Affordable Quality Home Care in support of the proposal, and there was no real opposition campaign, the measure was opposed by 57 percent of voters (Daniels, 11/7). 

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.


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