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Ohio bill introduced with focus on universal, single payer access to health care: What to know about Senate Bill 253

Senate Bill 253 is also known as the Ohio Health Care Plan.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Editor's note: Video at the top of this story was originally published in an unrelated health article on Oct. 6, 2021.

Ohio state Senators Teresa Fedor (D-Toldeo) and Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) introduced Senate Bill 253 Thursday, which is also known as the Ohio Health Care Plan (OHCP). If passed, those backing the bill say this piece of legislation "will provide universal, single-payer access to quality health care, dental care and vision services."

Back in April, a report by the Healthy Policy Institute of Ohio ranked Ohio as the 47th state in Ohio as far as health goes. According to the release, Ohioans are living less healthy lives and spending more money on health care than those in other states.

“Uncertain deductibles, copays and other skyrocketing costs leave many Ohioans one health crisis away from financial ruin, especially those who are uninsured or underinsured,” Fedor said. “Everyone should have the freedom to receive quality, affordable care from a doctor or dentist of their choosing. Ohioans shouldn’t have to worry about whether they will be able to pay for life-saving treatments after an accident or diagnosis.”

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According to Forbes, health care costs are rising as a result of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, and the increases may only just be beginning. Costs are expected to keep rising as plans offered by insurers are going to justify their premiums for the upcoming year to governmental agencies.

“Access to health care is a human right that should be available to all, not a privilege for the few who can afford it,” Antonio said. “Ohio’s current health provider system creates disparities among minority populations, as well as the insured, underinsured and uninsured. It is long past time we implement an equitable and comprehensive health care system that treats everyone equally, regardless of their ability to pay. The health and future of Ohioans are at stake.”

Another bill was introduced as a companion to Senate Bill 253 by State Representative Michael Skindell (D-Lakewood).

“Containing health care costs and getting people – particularly low-income workers – insured remains challenging. This is a burden on individuals and employers alike," Skindell said. “Even with the Affordable Care Act, we have not yet attained universal coverage in our country. This bill seeks to solve that problem at the state level.”

“Senate Bill 253 and House Bill 446 would help to ensure equal access to health care for all Ohioans, regardless of age, race, disability status, income, education, and where you live in the state,” said Dee Chavez, RN, BSN, Coordinator Single Payer Action Network (SPAN) Ohio, Southwest Ohio Region. “At the same time families, individuals, and businesses would spend less on health care costs.”

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