Ohio Democrats revive universal health care plan
Similar legislation has been introduced at every two-year session over the past 10 years.
COLUMBUS – Ohio Democrats have once again introduced legislation that would provide universal health care to Ohioans, despite failed efforts over the past decade.
Senator Teresa Fedor, D-Toledo, said Senate Bill 253, Ohio’s health care plan, would provide universal, single-payer access to health care, dental care and care sight for all Ohioans.
Similar legislation has been introduced at every two-year session over the past 10 years. Each had little movement. Lawmakers have yet to say how much the proposal will cost the state.
“Uncertain deductibles, co-payments and other skyrocketing costs are leaving many Ohioans in a health crisis of financial ruin, especially those who are uninsured,” Fedor said. “Everyone should have the freedom to receive quality, affordable care from a doctor or dentist of their choice. Ohioans shouldn’t have to worry about whether they’ll be able to pay for life-saving treatments after an accident or diagnosis.
Fedor also said that a Forbes report showed rising healthcare costs during the COVID-19 pandemic and predicted that those costs would continue to rise.
Senator Nickie Antonio, D-Lakewood, said current health care systems hurt minorities and other groups.
“Access to health care is a human right that should be accessible to all, not a privilege for the few who can afford it,” said Antonio. “Ohio’s current health care provider system creates disparities among minority populations, as well as between the insured, the underinsured and the uninsured. It is high time we put in place a fair and comprehensive health care system that treats everyone equally, regardless of their ability to pay. The health and future of Ohioans is at stake.
Ohio has the 12th highest adult obesity rate in the United States. About 33.5% of adult residents report a body mass index of 30 or more, according to estimates by a Harvard researcher published in December 2019 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
About 17.8% of adults in Ohio report being in poor or fair health, the 21st highest share in the United States. Nationally, 17% of adults report being in poor health.
Obesity is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes, and 12.2% of Ohio residents over the age of 20 have diabetes, the 10th highest share of any state. The prevalence of diabetes across the country among the same age group is 10.5%.