The health care delivery system in Ohio is broken. With skyrocketing costs well above inflation, too many Ohio families and businesses are struggling to pay for health care, and over a million Ohioans have no insurance coverage at all. When uninsured Ohioans do access the system, it is often through the emergency room, bypassing the primary care they need and shifting the substantial costs to others. Reform is needed. However, we need to be certain that reform doesn't make matters worse. Unfortunately, the health care proposals the Democratic leadership is trying to rush through Congress do not address the basic cost and access challenges Ohio faces. In fact, the government-run plans being proposed will result in higher health care costs, large tax increases on small businesses, and many Ohioans losing their current private health care coverage. The proposals also limit choices on doctors and medical treatment options. There are better solutions to get health care costs under control, make health care more affordable for Ohio families, and expand access. We should start with clear goals:
* We must make health care coverage affordable and accessible to every Ohio family, regardless of their situation or preexisting health conditions.
* Families and businesses should be able to design a health care plan that works best to meet their needs. If you like your health care now, you should be able to keep it.
* There should be incentives for healthy living through prevention, wellness programs and effective disease management.
* Government and the private sector should collaborate on finding cures and new treatments for life-threatening diseases.
* Patients and their doctors, and other health providers, should be making personal and sensitive medical decisions, not government bureaucrats.
* Medical malpractice costs and the mounting costs of defensive medicine must be reduced through sensible legal reform and better health information.
Following these principles, we can lower the cost of health care and expand access for Ohio families without increasing our nation's debt or costing Ohio more jobs. Democrats in Washington should slow down, work with their colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and listen to the American people so the right balance is struck. Health care reform is too important for Washington to get it wrong.