Thursday, March 28, 2013

Freedom to Make Our Own Healthcare Decisions

Guest Column from State Representative Jim Buchy

When President Obama forced government run healthcare through Congress he started a multiple year process of steadily increasing the size of government and increasing government spending. In west central Ohio, there is a consensus that Obamacare is bad for our households and bad for this country. Over the course of the past two years, I have joined the fight a number of times to put a fork in President Obama’s plan.

Every step of the way I have maintained the position that Ohioans should have the freedom to make their own healthcare decisions.
The alternative offered by Washington, is a forced purchase of healthcare insurance, increased taxes, death panels, and in Ohio we have to consider increasing Medicaid to provide for the new people President Obama has welcomed onto Medicaid.

In 2011, Ohioans went to the ballot box and voted against the individual mandate. Shortly thereafter, the U.S. Supreme Court threw the opinions of Ohioans to the waste-side by declaring the individual mandate constitutional and a rightful power of the federal government as a part of the government’s ability to levy taxes on us. That didn’t stop our attempts to get out from under a federal mandate that is forcing the hand of our state.

The next step in the process was the decision to implement a state run healthcare exchange which would put citizens into a healthcare partnership with private insurance companies. In Ohio, we said NO to Obamacare once again. The statement was clear, we told President Obama to run his own government healthcare program, now the President is developing a federal healthcare exchange that will operate in Ohio.

Recently, you may have joined me in learning more about Medicaid expansion which will be a topic of future columns. At this point, it is a proposal that must be further vetted and provides an opportunity for us to discuss reforming Ohio’s Medicaid program. I am in support of overhauling our current system to increase rehabilitation of citizens and putting those capable back to work.

A new bill introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives is another step in the battle against Obamacare. This bill once again reminds us of the opportunity to defend freedom. When the health insurance companies enter into the federal healthcare exchange they initiate a series of taxes associated with Obamacare. This bill, which I co-sponsored, will ban the insurance companies from entering into the healthcare exchanges with the threat of pulling their licenses to operate in Ohio. This could be called the Hail Mary in the attempt to stop Obamacare, but I am up for anything that will protect our state budget while keeping Obamcare out of Ohio.

We have all anticipated the effects of Obamacare for several years, and during that time we have never given up that fight against the federal mandate. I am confident Ohio will battle Obamacare as far as we can without jeopardizing our fiscal security. We need an overhaul of our Medicaid program in Ohio that includes measures that will increase the rehabilitation of capable workers. In west central Ohio, we don’t want the government to make our medical decisions for us. As your State Representative, that sentiment will continue to be echoed.

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