It’s hard to believe that President Obama signed his federal health care plan into law more than two years ago, but the controversy over the law continues to surface on a regular basis. Thinking back to that time, many of us are reminded of the political polarization, being kept in the dark, and what seemed like sheer chaos in Washington.

But it’s not this—or even the fact that the law is harmful to our state’s businesses and residences—that makes me so irritated with Obamacare. It’s the fact that we believe our rights were infringed upon and our voices were silenced. As a result, Representative Ron Maag and I decided to provide Ohioans with a chance to be heard on this issue through House Joint Resolution 2.

HJR 2 was companion legislation to Senate Joint Resolution 1, which ultimately became the vehicle that both the Ohio House and Ohio Senate voted on. The legislation was known as the Ohio Health Care Freedom Act, and with a simple three-fifths vote by both chambers of the legislature, the issue would have been put on the ballot for our citizens to decide if the federal health care law went too far.

Although the Health Care Freedom Act would not have outright repealed the federal health law, it would have given Ohioans a chance to say whether or not a law requiring participation in a health care system should be prohibited or not. The Senate had no problem passing SJR 1, but unfortunately the Ohio House fell just one vote short because the members of the Democratic caucus were fearful and believed they knew better than the citizens who they represent. Just one more vote would have put the issue directly on the ballot for your vote.

The facts indicate that the health care law is an unconstitutional overreach of the federal government. It will be detrimental to our state and nation even more than the financial trouble we already find ourselves in. Time and time again, we have seen that big government does not work for us. We prefer for our decisions to be made at the local level. And ultimately, it should be up to us as individuals to decide what is best for our families. Obamacare infringes upon this right, which is why Ohioans should have had a choice through the passage of SJR 1.

Not everything in the federal health care plan is bad. Unfortunately, the individual mandate makes the entire bill fundamentally flawed. Before Obamacare was passed, Columbus was ahead of Washington in designing innovative reforms to problems in our health care system. Now, our state is forced to exit these ideas to follow a set of rules which includes mandating insurance.

I introduced the Health Care Freedom Act as a means of empowering Ohioans to have their voices heard on this important issue. I’m pleased to report that, regardless of this legislation failing to gain the support of the House minority that it needed to pass, Ohioans have collected enough signatures for the issue of health care to be put on the ballot this November.

I hope that in the future, Ohioans will continue to have opportunities for their views to be expressed. In the meantime, feel free to continue contacting my office with your questions and concerns about what we can do to better our state.


Post a Comment