State Reps Andy Thompson and Ron Young introduced a bill today (HB 91) called the “Health Care Freedom Act” that would effectively prevent any insurance company from operating in Ohio if that company chooses to participate in Ohio’s Affordable Care Act (ACA)-mandated insurance exchange.

The bill bans any insurance company from operating in Ohio if that company would get tax credits or cost-sharing reductions for insurance buyers who used the exchange because their employers didn’t offer coverage.

During a press conference today, Thompson claimed the purpose of the bill is to “reinforce the freedom of all Ohioans to choose their own health care”.    In reality, it LIMITS the options Ohioans have by banning insurance companies from operating in the state should they choose to participate in the health care exchange.

Federal law is clear: starting in 2014, most Ohioans will be required to buy health insurance.  And for many, the health care exchange will be their best and most affordable option. Under this law, that option would be taken away.

Equally as disturbing, this bill is horribly anti-business. The health care exchange will provide a large pool of new business for health insurance companies.  This bill tell companies: if you choose to pursue this wonderful new opportunity to grow your business by enrolling customers from our insurance exchange, we will bar you from doing ANY business in Ohio.

The goal is clear:  to prevent any insurance company from offering coverage through Ohio’s ACA insurance exchange thereby preventing any Ohioan from buying insurance from the exchange.

I think Young and Thomson need to take a second look at a dictionary…

Websters defines Freedom as “the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action”.

In fact this bill does the exact opposite:  coercing companies into business practices that constrain their options and the options of all Ohioans.

Ohio Capital Blog has the full video of the presser here.

  • Is the proposed bill constitutional or not?


    Typical GOP.

  • amyvav

    I have had a very brief into to the new health care mandates. It is my understanding that many people will be forced into the exchange or into purchasing private insurance. With the exchange, many of them will be eligible for a subsidy to help with costs. It may be the only way they can afford the coverage that they are required by law to obtain. This could be devastating to those people. I can’t imagine that private insurers who are not in the exchange will make their rates affordable.

    Or am I missing something here? I certainly hope so, because this just gets scarier and scarier. I’ve been dealing with employer health care for 25 years, and this is beyond anything that I have had yet to communicate to my fellow employees.

  • dmoore2222

    Well for those who have been bitching forever about the “takers” getting free health care, this is designed to alleviate a lot of that. And the exchanges will create competition which republicans CLAIM to love but in reality scares the crap out of them. Whenever they can’t rig something it means they’d have to work for a living.

  • Bob M

    That is really not a concern of the Ohio republicans, is it?

  • amyvav

    I just hope we keep the competition, because for many employers it would be easier and (at least for mine the way it looks right now) cheaper – way cheaper – to not offer coverage at all for their employees, or for most of their families, and to pay the penalty. Unfortunately, it appears there are many loopholes that will make people ineligible for the subsidies in the exchange as well. Hopefully, there will be enough competition that people can afford something. I can’t believe that these guys would introduce something like this. Do they really think that everyone who shares their views will be immune from the torment this is all going to cause???

  • ALEC members Andrew Thompson and Ron Young are obediently following the corporate interests of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s “Health Care Freedom Initiative.” To ALEC legislators, the word “Freedom” is no more than a tool used in conservative political rhetoric and in the titles of their bogus bills.

  • The Earth is not Flat

    It’s called the “supremacy clause”. Article VI I believe. Federal law is the law of the land. This is a very well settled .

    Ron Young is wasting his time and our money.

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