Healthcare in Ohio

Date: February 27, 2008

House Bill 281 and Senate Bill 190 – Contraceptive mandate
House Bill 287 and Senate Bill 112 – Universal healthcare
Senate Bill 28 –Telemedicine insurance mandate
Senate Bill 31 and Senate Bill 194  – Oral cancer medication mandate
House Bill 376 – Autism mandate
NFIB/Ohio Position:  Opposed
The costs of state healthcare mandates are born on the backs of the small group and individual markets.  Thanks to federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) law, self-insured and union shops are exempt from all state healthcare mandates.  The result is the entire cost of a state healthcare mandate is paid for by the small group and individual markets who comprise under 50 percent of the total market.  Make no mistake, healthcare mandates drive up costs of insurance.  No mandate is free. 
A new favored way to make a mandate look less costly is to eliminate the mandate should any health insurance company premiums increase more than 1 percent as a result of any given mandate.  That sounds reasonable but this cap is on a health insurance company’s entire book in the small group and individual markets, not the individual employer.  For example, a business with 5 employees has high utilization of a recently enacted healthcare mandate.  As a result, the premium increase upon renewal from insurance company X is 40 percent. Insurance company X’s overall premiums increased only .75 percent as a result of this mandate.   In this scenario, the mandate is still in place and the small employer is now faced with paying a 40 percent increase or dropping coverage. 
NFIB believes the free market should be allowed to work.  Insurance companies will offer competitive products that provide desired coverage as dictated by the market. 

Healthcare Freedom
House Bill 11 –  Prohibits a state department or agency from implementing any portion of federal healthcare without approval of the general assembly.
House Bill 85 –  Prohibits any individual from being required to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty for not doing so.
Senate Joint Resolution 1 – Constitutional amendment to allow Ohio voters to choose healthcare.
NFIB/Ohio Position:  Interested Party
NFIB is the only trade association that has joined with 26 state attorneys general in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the individual mandate on purchasing health insurance contained in the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act, the federal healthcare reform bill.  You, our members, have overwhelmingly told us that you believe the federal government does not have a right to force you to purchase a product.  The lawsuit is being challenged through the federal court system.
In Ohio, there are a couple of bills and resolutions introduced that would allow Ohioans to decide whether or not they want to purchase health insurance.  Although the resolutions do not change state law, they send a message to your elected officials at the federal level.  Of most worthy note, is a resolution that would have put the issue of freedom to choose healthcare before the voters of Ohio as a constitutional amendment, Senate Joint Resolution 1, but failed to receive the required 3/5 majority vote in the Ohio House to move forward with placing on the ballot.



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