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Ohio Supreme Court Rejects Petition For Kidney Dialysis Amendment

Ohio Supreme Court Gavel statue
Creative Commons

Ohioans won’t vote this fall on a ballot issue capping how much clinics can charge for kidney dialysis. The Ohio Supreme Court says signatures were gathered for the "Kidney Dialysis Patient Protection Amendment" without the proper paperwork.

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled a California company working for the issue’s backers didn’t fill out the required disclosure forms before paid workers gathered signatures. That means the 300,000 signatures have all been thrown out.

The amendment sought to limit dialysis costs at 115 percent the cost of direct patient care. It would also require annual inspections of dialysis clinics and impose a penalty on companies that overcharge patients.

The Ohio Renal Association, which represents dialysis clinics mostly run by two big companies, opposed the issue and made that argument in court documents. The Service Employees International Union, Democratic groups and other backers of the amendment had paid more than $3.5 million to the company to gather 475,000 signatures.

But because the deadline to submit signatures was July 4, the ruling will not be on the ballot this fall. And none of those signatures will count if the group wants to try again, because the Secretary of State’s office says the group must restart the process from the beginning.