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LOCAL VOICES: Health care reform a boondoggle

Commentary • Apr 19, 2010 at 2:17 AM



For the sake of "historic" health care reform, are you willing to suffer higher taxes, sacrifice your liberties, and diminish the quality of your family's health care?

Fifty-six percent of Ohioans vehemently oppose the health care overhaul that was recently passed by Congress, compared with just 33 percent who approve (Quinnipiac poll). But while your "representatives" on Capitol Hill who crafted and passed the bill have the freedom to opt out of the new federal mandates, your family will bear the brunt of this pricey boondoggle.

By far, the most troubling provision in Washington's health care bill is the requirement that every U.S. citizen purchase health insurance, or face a hefty fee if they opt out. This coercive mechanism has pushed our nation into dangerous territory, and we must work to correct all that is wrong with this bill--the sweetheart deals, the unprecedented government control, and the skyrocketing expenses.

We can all agree that the American health care system needs to be repaired to better serve the most vulnerable among us. However, the federal health care bill circumvented a fair, transparent democratic process and was neither the hope nor the change that the people of our nation wanted. The last thing Ohio's families need is higher taxes and heavy-handed mandates from Washington during the most difficult recession in decades--specially with the $8 billion deficit we will inevitably face in the next budget.

The 58th Ohio House District has one of the highest unemployment rates in the state, and I fear that as Washington bureaucracy grows and inundates our neighbors with taxes, fees and red tape, our community will be among the hardest hit in Ohio.

Rep. Barbara Sears and I recently took action to protect an individual's right to make his or her own health care decisions and limit the government power in Washington. House Bill 489 was introduced as companion legislation to Senate Bill 244 and is similar to measures that have passed in many other states. When enacted, it will affirm that it is the policy of the state of Ohio that individuals have a right to decline private, state or federal insurance without being held liable for exercising their rights as free citizens. Additionally, the measure would require the Ohio Attorney General to seek an injunction against any policy that opposes this principle.

I urge the House majority to move quickly on this legislation to safeguard the rights and liberties of Ohioans.

Ohioans have spoken loud and clear that although something must be done to improve our health care system, this bureaucratic nightmare is not the answer. As your voice in the Statehouse, I will continue to fight for more sensible solutions to address the needs of our most vulnerable citizens without bankrupting the state and its citizens.

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