Healthcare for All Ohioans Act (2008)

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The Healthcare for All Ohioans Act (2008) is an initiated constitutional amendment being proposed to the legislature as House Bill 186 and Senate Bill 168. The amendment would provide single-payer health care for all Ohioans, regardless of income or medical conditions.

Single-payer means that one fund, compiled from money already used for health care around the state and administered by a non-profit government agency accountable to the public, would make payment for all medical services.[1]

Status

Petitions are currently circulating to try to get the measure passed by the legislature. If the legislature does not pass it within 90 days, another batch of signatures must be submitted to place the initiative directly on the ballot for the November 2008 election.

See also: Ohio signature requirements

Support

Single-Payer Action Network (SPAN) Ohio is sponsoring the measure and encouraging people to circulate petitions or contact legislators in support of the measure. They point out that Governor Strickland has assembled a task force in order to study health care option for Ohio, but that a Single-Payer option has not been included in the study. They also encourage people to contact Strickland and his advisors in order to get him to broaden the research.

They organization mentions that Congressman Dennis Kucinich supports the Single-Payer plan and has urged Strickland to include it in his study.[2]

The Green Party of Ohio has also come out in support of the initiative.

Back in 2005, musician and activist Bruce Springsteen promoted the initiative at two separate concerts in Ohio, encouraging people to get involved if they agreed with the legislation, even setting up informational booths at the venue[3] and allowing SPAN to collect petition signatures.[4]

Opposition

Certain comments on blogs promoting or sharing information on the initiative show the distaste some have for the issue. Vindy.comis one site that provides a discussion forum for Ohio politics.

Independent Green Party Candidate for State Representative, Dennis Spisak posted an entry on the site, promoting Single-Payer health care. One anonymous blogger responded:

"When you say we are going to 'pool' that money, you are really saying that you are going to forcefully take that money through taxes, and then redispurse it to the bums, slackers and crackheads that refuse to get jobs. In other words, you would take away my choice, and force me to pay into an already corrupt government system.
You are a Socialist that believes in total Government control. I will fight your candidacy every step of the way."[5]

References

See also