Yesterday, the Ohio House passed HB 613, representing another step by the Kasich administration to implement Obamacare.

The bill establishes requirements for “navigators” who will help consumers shop for health insurance on the state’s healthcare exchange, a key component of the President’s plan. As Gongwer puts it, the bill:

“establishes that navigators would be allowed to conduct public education activities related to exchange health plans. It would also give them the authority to distribute impartial information regarding enrollment in an exchange, available tax credits and cost sharing reductions.”

Notably, the bill enshrines the name of the controversial healthcare law into Ohio Revised Code:

Sec. 3905.01 (A) “Affordable Care Act” means the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” 124 Stat. 119, 42 U.S.C. 18031 (2011).

In what appeared to be a big hurry to pass the bill, House Health committee Chairman Lynn Wachtmann broke House rules to bring the bill up for a vote in only its second hearing without allowing any testimony. This led Democratic committee member John Patrick Carney to call Wachtmann a “horrible chairman,” a sentiment with which we wholeheartedly concur.

The bill went directly to the House floor later in the day and passed on a largely party-line vote. Even big Obamacare opponents like Representative Danny Bubp signed onto the bill as a cosponsor.

Further illustrating the GOP’s goal of rushing the bill through without anyone noticing was this from the Ohio House GOP upon its passage:

Notice no mention of Obamacare?

Forced to do the Kasich administration’s dirty work, the Ohio House GOP has its disinformation machine misrepresent the bill’s purpose and asks a committee Chair to rush it through in hopes none of their Tea Party friends would notice that they were acting as enablers for socialized medicine.


The bill now goes to the Ohio Senate who has one week left to pass it before the end of the term. We’ll be watching.

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