Many Ohioans will pay more for health insurance if "Obamacare," the president's health care law, remains in effect. Many others will lose the coverage they now enjoy through their employers.
Merely insisting the law should be repealed is not enough, however. Intelligent alternatives that provide real health care reform are needed.
Fortunately, Josh Mandel, Ohio's state treasurer and a candidate for the U.S. Senate, has proposed sensible improvements that would serve not just Buckeye State residents, but all Americans.
Incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, has been a reliable supporter of President Barack Obama in many ways, including the health care law and the war on coal. He doesn't see a problem with the many Ohioans who will have to pay more for insurance or lose coverage altogether because of the law.
Mandel wants to repeal "Obamacare." In its place he suggests a package of reforms including:
- Giving states more control of the Medicaid program that provides health care coverage for hundreds of thousands of Ohioans and millions throughout the nation.
Instead of merely ordering states to expand their Medicaid systems, as "Obamacare" does, Mandel wants to give them more flexibility in managing the programs. Many governors doubt their states can afford to expand Medicaid, but Mandel's idea could provide them the leeway they need to do so.
- Americans should be allowed to buy health insurance across state lines, Mandel believes. That would increase competition for customers, resulting in lower costs and better service.
- Mandel also has a common-sense idea about tax deductions for health insurance. Businesses can take them for coverage provided to employees. Individuals and families should be able to get the same tax breaks for buying health insurance, he urges.
- Ensuring Medicare provides good service to the senior citizens who rely on it is a key part of Mandel's plan. He wants to protect the program from funding cuts that are part of "Obamacare."
In all, Mandel has 10 proposals for health care reform. Electing him as Ohio's new U.S. senator would allow him to pursue them in Washington. Buckeye State voters should do just that.