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Ohio Democrats try another bill that would provide universal health care

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Karen Kasler
/
Statehouse News Bureau
Debbie Silverstein of the Single Payer Action Network of Ohio, Dayton Dr. Kathy Lambes, former Rep. Bernadine Kennedy Kent (D-Columbus), and then Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) talk about the Ohio Health Security Act.

The minority party has been trying to pass a bill allowing it for more than a decade now.

As they have in each of the last five two-year legislative sessions, Democrats at the Ohio Statehouse have reintroduced a universal health care bill they say would make affordable health care accessible to all Ohioans. The thrust of the bill is not new but sponsors say the need for it is increasing.

Democratic Sen. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) says similar bills have been up for consideration for more than a decade.

“We’ve only had one hearing in 14 years and we had so many people interested that they had to have four additional hearings to get everyone in to provide testimony,” Fedor says.

Fedor says the bill deserves serious consideration because Ohioans rank near the bottom of health outcomes and many businesses cannot afford to provide health care coverage to their employees. Republicans have long opposed universal health care because of cost and concerns about inefficiency and wait times. Only Vermont has implemented single-payer health care at the state level.

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