Healthcare policy and reform are issues at the top of the agenda in Ohio. As our population continues to age and the baby-boomer generation begins to face both the financial and health burdens of advancing age, Ohio has a unique opportunity to not only address its own dilemmas, but also pave the way for the entire nation in tackling this crisis.
I know Ohioans are apprehensive as to the future of their health insurance coverage and our entire healthcare system. Health and healthcare are unique in that, invariably in some way, they impact every individual on a personal level. Thus, I firmly believe that Ohioans deserve the right and ability to remain in charge of their own personal health care in order to allow individuals the flexibility to make their own personal decisions rather than the government applying a one-size-fits-all approach.
Many have advocated for "Universal Health Care" as the solution to Ohio's health care woes. This proposal would provide Ohioans with uniform insurance without regard to their own personal needs and situations. Of course, the plan would be funded by a sharp increase in payroll taxes. While I do believe that all Ohioans deserve access to quality care and protection against catastrophic loss, I believe Ohioans need and deserve real and meaningful reform and a choice in their personal health decisions. I believe "Universal Health Care" and similar proposals will only result in decreased and inadequate access and quality while increasing costs and forcing more job losses.
I support government "safety net" programs that focus on assisting displaced workers and help their families keep or obtain health benefits while they are retraining or looking to reenter the workplace. I do believe, however, that many of the current programs already in place should be revised so they can be more user-friendly and better utilized. The current framework in place merely presents an increase bureaucracy that does nothing to improve the healthcare or benefits for our workers and their families.
In this age of technology and portability, Ohio must push forward to better utilize the programs we already have in place and make necessary changes to meet the changing needs of Ohioans. We must work to enable Ohioans to make their own personal healthcare decisions, as they know better than the government what will work for them. Increased government mandates and a "one-size-fits-all" approach only further threatens to decrease quality and access for healthcare coverage.