State Reps. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) and Bernadine Kennedy Kent (D-Columbus) today introduced the Ohio Health Security Act, a bill to establish a single-payer health care plan in Ohio to universally cover medical, dental and vision services. Payments to health care providers for all eligible benefits will be made from a single public fund, called the Ohio Health Care Fund.
“Even with the progress we’ve made, too many in Ohio are still struggling to get the care they need when they need it. It’s time for a change,” said Fedor. “Let’s face it. We all need healthcare at some point in our lives, and we shouldn’t have to mortgage our future to get it. Under the Ohio Health Security Act, every eligible Ohioan will be free to choose the plan and doctors that work best for their families without breaking the bank.”
Under the plan, every Ohioan may receive full health care coverage, regardless of income or employment status, and may freely choose their own health care providers for services such as outpatient services to prescription drugs, medical supplies and medical transportation without costly co-payments or deductibles. There will also be no exclusions for pre-existing conditions. Coverage from the Ohio Health Security Act would begin two years after the bill’s passage.
“While Congress continues to cut backroom deals and pass secret bills that will only work to increase costs and cut benefits for hardworking Ohioans, we’re putting together a concrete plan to make care affordable and flexible to work for you and your family,” said Kennedy Kent. “Taxpayers deserve a plan that gives them a real choice and the freedom to pick a plan that works for them.”
The new health care plans will be administered by the Ohio Health Care Agency, which will operate under the direction of the Ohio Health Care Board. The board will consist of two elected representatives from seven regions across the state and the director of the Ohio Health Care Agency. The board will:
- negotiate or set prices for health care services provided
- establish standards to demonstrate proof of residency
- provide each participating individual with identification that can be used by providers to establish eligibility for services
- seek all necessary waivers, exemptions, agreements, or legislation to allow various federal and state health care payments to be made to the Ohio Health Care Agency
Recent studies have shown substantial savings associated with single-payer systems, which work to establish market power, thereby cutting red-tape, reducing overhead costs and implementing cost controls, according to the Single Payer Action Network (SPAN). A full, detailed economic analysis on the potential impact of the Ohio Health Security Act is currently underway and set to be released in the coming months.