Ohio Senate Bill 91 has been introduced by Ohio Senators Michael Skindell and Charleta B. Tavares to “Provide universal health care coverage to Ohioans.” It would be disastrous for the State of Ohio and lead to more expensive and poorer quality health care.
Considering how ineffective the Federal Affordable Care Act has been it is hard to understand how the State of Ohio could do a better job. Universal coverage is not the same as universal access; just ask anyone needing help from an HMO, let alone the government run Veterans Administration.
Single-payer systems aren’t the solution to rising healthcare costs; all health care costs are rising regardless of the system. In fact, many of the countries with the highest spending per capita on health care includes some of the often-cited model countries with socialized care, and once the government gets involved in anything it’s hard to know the total true cost of any program. However, most countries with socialized medicine have discovered that it works best when free market options are incorporated into the plan – such as competitive alternatives and higher co-pays.
It is hard to understand the true costs of social programs at a macroeconomic level, but this bill offers a glimpse of the individual costs for Ohioans. From the proposed bill, emphasis added:
Sec. 3920.28. Funding of the Ohio health care plan shall be obtained from the following sources:
a) Funds made available to the Ohio health care plan pursuant to sections 3920.31 to 3920.33 of the Revised Code;
b) Funds obtained from other federal, state, and local governmental sources and programs;
c) Receipts from taxes levied on employers' payrolls to be paid by employers. The tax rate in the first year shall not exceed three and eighty-five hundredths [3.85%] per cent of the payroll.
d) Receipts from additional taxes levied on businesses' gross receipts. The tax rate in the first year shall not exceed three percent of the gross receipts.
e) Receipts from additional income taxes, equal to six and two-tenths per cent of an individual's compensation in excess of the amount subject to the social security payroll tax;
f) Receipts from additional income taxes, equal to five per cent of all of an individual's Ohio adjusted gross income, less the exemptions allowed under section 5747.025 of the Revised Code, in excess of two hundred thousand dollars.
On top of existing funding, this plan will add a 3.85% employer income tax (meaning less can be spent on salaries), a 3% tax on all business receipts, and additional income tax ranging from 5% to 6.2% depending on one’s tax bracket. These rates are for starters and are only restricted in the first year. Government programs never shrink – health care costs will rise and continue to rise as long as a growing bureaucracy must be supported.
The problem with the US health care system is that the bureaucracy is too expensive – more bureaucracy will only make it worse. Competition is not encouraged. Being able to freely market health care across state lines, let alone international boundaries, would go a long way to lowering health care costs. Reducing regulations and restrictions on the type of plan, services and doctors a person can have would also help.
At least the House and Senate Concurrent Resolutions (HCR6 and SCR5) offer a sensible challenge to S.B. 91, better representing a workable market solution:
“Concurrent Resolution to urge Congress to continue its efforts to fully repeal the Affordable Care Act and to recommend that future federal health care policies pursue free market solutions, restore power to patients, health care [sic] providers, and the states, fund the Medicaid program through block grants to individual states, and permit the sale of health insurance across state lines.”
While always suspicious of trading federal oversight for state oversight, the health of Ohioans is better protected and more affordable when free markets are available to the individual consumer.
Libertarian Platform - 2.10 Health Care
We favor a free-market health care system. We recognize the freedom of individuals to determine the level of health insurance they want (if any), the level of health care they want, the care providers they want, the medicines and treatments they will use and all other aspects of their medical care, including end-of-life decisions. People should be free to purchase health insurance across state lines.
Sources – General Assembly 132
Senate Bill 91 - Provide universal health care coverage to Ohioans
House Concurrent Resolution 5 - Urge Congress to continue Affordable Care Act
House Concurrent Resolution 6 - Urge repeal and replacement of Affordable Care Act
Senate Concurrent Resolution 5 - Encourage full repeal and replacement of Affordable Care Act