Today, state Senators Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) and Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) introduced Senate Bill 253, the Ohio Health Care Plan (OHCP). This legislation will provide universal, single-payer access to quality health care, dental care and vision services.
“Uncertain deductibles, copays and other skyrocketing costs leave many Ohioans one health crisis away from financial ruin, especially those who are uninsured or underinsured,” Fedor said. “Everyone should have the freedom to receive quality, affordable care from a doctor or dentist of their choosing. Ohioans shouldn’t have to worry about whether they will be able to pay for life-saving treatments after an accident or diagnosis.”
Forbes recently reported on the rising costs of health care as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, predicting these increases are only just beginning. These costs are expected to continue rising as insurers begin to detail their plan offerings and justify their premiums for the upcoming year to governmental agencies.
“Access to health care is a human right that should be available to all, not a privilege for the few who can afford it,” Antonio said. “Ohio’s current health provider system creates disparities among minority populations, as well as the insured, underinsured and uninsured. It is long past time we implement an equitable and comprehensive health care system that treats everyone equally, regardless of their ability to pay. The health and future of Ohioans are at stake.”
An April 2021 report by the Health Policy Institute of Ohio (HPIO) ranked Ohio as 47th in the nation in health, meaning Ohioans are living less healthy lives and spending more on health care than people in most other states.
State Representative Michael Skindell (D-Lakewood) also introduced a companion bill, House Bill 446, in the Ohio House of Representatives.
“Containing health care costs and getting people – particularly low-income workers – insured remains challenging. This is a burden on individuals and employers alike," Skindell said. “Even with the Affordable Care Act, we have not yet attained universal coverage in our country. This bill seeks to solve that problem at the state level.”
The HPIO also reports that there is a 29-year gap in life expectancy in Ohio, depending on factors like race, income and whether someone lives in a rural county or near a city, as well as other factors that affect access to health care.
“Senate Bill 253 and House Bill 446 would help to ensure equal access to health care for all Ohioans, regardless of age, race, disability status, income, education, and where you live in the state,” said Dee Chavez, RN, BSN, Coordinator Single Payer Action Network (SPAN) Ohio, Southwest Ohio Region. “At the same time families, individuals, and businesses would spend less on health care costs.”