Healthy Choices for Healthy Children Act
Rep. Wachtmann (R-Napoleon) and I introduced the Healthy Choices for Healthy Children Act to address the epidemic of childhood obesity, the #1 health risk of Ohio's future. Supported by a broad coalition of businesses, hospitals and schools, the bill will improve the health of our children by requiring 30 minutes of exercise a day in the school curriculum. It will also improve childhood nutrition by strengthening nutritional requirements for food and beverages sold in our schools. The bill passed the legislature with overwhelming bipartisan support in June of 2010 (House 77-21, Senate 24-8).
HB 412 (129 GA): Health Exchanges
I introduced House Bill 412 with Representative Antonio (D-Lakewood) to establish the Ohio Health Benefit Exchange Agency and to establish the Ohio Health Benefit Exchange Program. This consists of an exchange for individual coverage and a Small Business Health Options Program. Passage of this bill would allow Ohio to design and set up its own health insurance exchange, as opposed to having one set up by the Federal government.
HB 97 (129 GA): Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
I sponsored House Bill 97 with Rep. Richard Hollington (R-Hunting Valley) to require the State of Ohio to offer High Deductible Health Plans to State Employees and require participants to set up a Health Savings Account (HSA). This can play a significant role in controlling healthcare costs, as it encourages patients to be appropriately discerning about services they pay for directly.
HB 67 (128 GA): Blood Donations
I introduced HB 67 to address the tremendous need for donated blood and give more teenagers a chance to contribute to their communities. The bill reduces the minimum age for donating blood from 17 to 16 (with parental consent). I am pleased to report that this legislation passed with unanimous bipartisan support in both the House and Senate. Since the law went into effect last October, the Red Cross reports having collected more than 13,400 additional pints of blood from 16-year-olds, saving over 40,000 lives in the last few years.
HB 313 (129 GA): Interstate Mutual Aid Compact (IMAC)
I sponsored HB 313 with Rep. John Carey (R-Wellston) to expand shared services during emergencies. House Bill 313 is an expansion of the Intrastate Mutual Aid Compact (IMAC) to improve cooperation between local and state government agencies. It will allow our first responders to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively. The companion bill, SB 243 (Senator Hughes, R-Columbus), passed the House 91-1 on 3/27/12. It was signed into law on April 2, 2012.