Republican State Rep John Becker has a solution to Ohio’s healthcare woes and it goes something like this:

1.  Pick one hospital in every urban area to be “designated for indigent care”

2.  Staff the hospital with low-paid “interns, volunteers, students and trainees”

3.  Give all of the hospital workers “immunity from malpractice litigation”

4.  Force all poor people to “be transferred to their designated” indigent hospital 

Boom!  Done and Done.  Poor people get substandard care and “suburban hospitals are freed of the burden of providing indigent care and then cost shifting to the rest of us.”   Health care… solved.


Sadly, I’m not kidding.  This is actually the plan Becker outlined in the February edition of his Becker Report Website, a month after being elected to Ohio’s House of Representatives.

And last week he started introducing legislation to implement this plan.

DoctorHB271, if passed into law, would effectively prevent the poor, who receive free, indigent medical care, from suing a doctor for medical malpractice (with the exception of an abortion doctor, of course).

Becker’s bill takes a very limited and focused part of the law that grants immunity to “volunteer” medical professionals helping indigent patients with simple and routine medical and dental care, and expands it to apply to pretty much any medical procedure including major surgery, anesthesia and child birth.  

He even gives health care professionals and health care workers immunity for actions “outside the scope of [their]  authority” and “beyond the scope of [their] practice… education, training, and competence.”

So under Becker’s bill, a chiropractor performing knee surgery, a dentist delivering a baby or even a medical student prescribing heart medication could not be sued, as long as their patient is poor or indigent.

In essence, Becker hopes to set up a two-tier health care system in Ohio.   One set of hospitals where poorly paid, poorly trained and inexperienced staff treat poor patients, and another where experienced doctors treat “the rest of us”.

It is a nasty, mean-spirited and selfish plan that would have a devastating impact, especially Ohio’s low-income pregnant women, babies and children.

Ohio already has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the country for African American children, and the fourth highest rate in the country.   And neighborhoods around the hospitals Becker suggests we designate indigent-only facilities have rates that are off the charts; rates higher than countries like Vietnam and Libya.

Becker’s plan would most certainly result in even higher infant mortality rates, especially when combined with a another bill Becker introduced in August (HB 255) that would kick thousands of Ohio’s pregnant women and low income families off Medicaid and into the type of care Becker hopes will now be performed by interns, students and trainees.

So far there hasn’t been much support shown for Becker’s crazy plan.  His immunity bill has zero co-sponsors.  And his Medicaid bill had only one, Matt Lynch, another state rep who has sponsored a series of anti immigrant bills similar to the ones passed in Arizona.

While we may not see Ohio’s Republican-controlled legislature embrace Becker’s bills and his plan, that’s only because Becker put into writing what most Republicans feel but are afraid to say in public because it sounds too mean and uncaring.  Make no mistake, this is exactly the kind of system Republicans envision for our country, and you only have to look at Washington today and the fact that Republicans shut down the federal government in order to prevent more Americans from getting health care coverage.   


  • Jack Cooksey

    Remember… SB5 also had no co-sponsors yet it was passed into law.
    his including “immunity from malpractice litigation” should give indication of the quality of care he expects.
    Anyone need a better example of the extremist bullshit, out of touch, self-serving views from the right? Didn’t think so! Probably from Boehner’s district 🙂 Ohio deserves better!

  • DublinIrishBob

    Since we are in the process of creating two-tier schools, a two-tier medical system is a natural addition. Charter schools for the poor families who live in urban areas and nonprofessional medical systems. Guest workers are next.

  • dmoore2222

    Yes, and eventually everyone is next. This is what the fools who support these creeps fail to realize–discrimination is progressive, in a bad way, of course.

  • Dolores V. Sisco

    Just great: “Charity” hospitals for the poor instead of supporting a single-payer option or (the dread) ObamaCare. Why not the workhouse and debtor’s prison too? This is the dream of the one-percenters and the TGOP who want to keep them in power – how long will the majority of Americans who struggle from paycheck to paycheck put up with this? One day (and its coming faster) the majority will find themselves in a barren and toxic wasteland while the wealthy enjoy themselves at our expense. I think history has shown us what happens when people are backed into a corner. . .

  • anastasjoy

    Are there no depths of depravity to which these so-called “Christians” will not sink?

    I’m starting to think not.

    Anyway, this guy is demented and illogical. I checked his website. First he says he wants to reduce Ohio’s progressive income tax to one “flat” tax, which would accelerate the shifting of state taxes to lower income people. But then he adds he wants to phase it out and replace it with — nothing. Poof! Half the state income gone. Perhaps he’d like to tell us how we prevent economy catastrophe on such a limited budget.

  • Red Rover

    Such disregard for human life should be criminal!

  • Gene

    John Beckers health care plan sounds sort of like telling us Americans we don’t want to do certain jobs or are unskilled so let foreigners come in to take them while all the time talking of unemployment.
    It’s not bad enough that the Conservatives and all programs carrying the same line tell us that under Obama care, 60% of Doctors will retire, it is costing too much etc. ; that doctors pay will be cut , hospitals will close and all other sorts of negative things . Instead of straightening these things up that is fouling up our country, and way of life, these politicans want to put everything under a law.
    If everything is under a law , they and who ever controls this country controls everything. Even our freedom. Even our way of life and what we think and say.
    It was sometime this year that we were hearing that we needed to bring foreigners into this country to do our jobs that we were unskilled to do. But no talk of creating opportunities for people to learn the skills or financial assistance .
    it is you politicans who are fouling up America.
    Barack O Bama definitely made it clear that no one had to give up the insurance they had, if they did not want to. Now it is seeming to be that he wants to make or eventually make heath care in this country a government controlled and universal plan forcing everyone to belong to it. No wonder Hillary Clinton is being and has been promoted as a potential Presidential candidate-she tried to get a heath care plan in effect as soon as her husband was elected and failed. but if Hillary Clinton is elected President, she can make sure that the Republicans are unable to defund or eliminate the Affordable Health Care Act as the Conservatives on Fox and others have put pressure on the Republicans to do.
    But the most scary thing is that with all the laws being passed and practices we see happening in our government, we do not know the real outcome and purposes of the health care law into the future.
    Under John Beckers plan, we should allow all kinds of students in various fields do the job of trained professionals. who have earned the right to the privilages, prestige and pay- heck with the dedication, sacrifice and effort it took to get there.
    John Becker shows the evil inclinations and ideas that people like him come into office to accomplish. And we wonder what is wrong with our government.!

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