Ohio lawmakers hope to put some teeth into the state’s constitutional amendment protecting Ohioans’ health care freedom.
Ohio Bill HB91, introduced by Representatives Ron Young and Andy Thompson on March 5, would restrict a health insurer in the State of Ohio from charging a penalty (tax) to either an employer or an individual who does not purchase a health insurance plan under the national Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
A health insurance issuer operating in this state shall not accept any remuneration, credit, or subsidy, as described in 42 U.S.C. 18082, that may result in the imposition of penalties against any employer or individual in this state.
Violation of the act would come with a heavy penalty.
If a health insurance issuer violates division (A) of this section, the issuer’s license to issue new business in the state shall be suspended immediately and until such time as the issuer represents it has returned that remuneration, credit, or subsidy to its source and will decline any such future remuneration, credit, or subsidy. Such suspensions shall not be construed as impairing the right of contract or the right to continue or renew existing business in the state.
The bill already has 19 cosponsors signed on.
HB91 was assigned to the Health and Aging Committee.
Young says he believes the Health Care Freedom Act would not conflict with federal law, so preemption is not an issue. He also noted that in 2011, Ohio voters passed an amendment to the state constitution that states “No federal, state, or local law or rule shall compel, directly or indirectly, any person, employer, or health care provider to participate in a health care system.”
Many Ohio Democrats oppose the Act arguing that the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act should not be changed at the state level.
1. Contact the Committee Chairman. Urge him to schedule a hearing and advise him you want him to vote YES on HB91.
Representative Lynn R. Wachtmann, Chairman Health & Aging Committee – (614) 466-3760
2. Contact all the other Members of the Health & Aging Committee. Advise them that you would like them to vote YES on HB91.
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