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The Failure of Leadership in Driving Down Healthcare Costs for Ohioans

Gov. Kasich, Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor chose to do nothing when faced with opportunity to craft a state solution
August 19, 2013
Democratic Newsroom

In 2011, Ohio was faced with a choice: We could either establish our own customized, state-run health-insurance exchange where Ohioans could purchase health insurance, or we could use a one-size-fits-all federal exchange. During that pivotal time, I asked Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, director of the Ohio Department of Insurance, to come to the Ohio House Health and Aging Committee to discuss the choice, but my request was met with silence.

Voices from across the health-care system — physicians, health insurers, insurance agents, consumer advocates and hospitals — thought that a state-run exchange would be better for both Ohio insurers and consumers by encouraging more insurers to participate. So Rep. Nickie Antonio of Lakewood and I introduced legislation that would create a state-based exchange. Still, Taylor refused to appear in front of the committee to discuss the bill and ignored all offers to work collaboratively to establish a state-based exchange.

Gov. John Kasich and Taylor opted to do nothing and settle for a one-size-fits-all approach to offer affordable health care to Ohioans. Now, Taylor is claiming that, because fewer insurers are participating in the federal exchange, costs will go up for Ohio's consumers.

If Ohioans will not benefit from a federal exchange in the way they would have with a state-based exchange, Taylor should place the responsibility where it belongs: on the administration’s failure to take action.



22nd House District