Fedor proposes Ohio go to single-payer health care system

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TOLEDO - (WTVG) - A local state representative has a plan to make health care available to everyone in Ohio. But at what cost?

A single payer system comes with a lot of promises. Advocates claim a lot of success at cutting costs and providing quality care for everyone in the countries where single payer is the norm. But there are concerns, as well.

Many Americans like their health coverage and their quality of care. But they are concerned about the cost of care.

Kristin Dewey attended a health care meeting at the Frederick Douglass Center Monday night. She says, "I think that people pay too high for premiums."

Pamela Sullivan agrees, saying, "It's catastrophic in your bill paying now, you just don't have the money."

That concern has driven health care reform and something called single-payer health care.

Doctor Jonathan Ross, MD is an advocate who says, "The disease of the American health care system is its complexity."

A plan is circulating in Ohio where the state would create a publicly funded universal health care system.

Dr. Ross says, "Literally, no out of pocket costs for a vast, vast majority of people. Whatever doctor you want to see, whatever hospital you want to go to and it will actually cost less."

To pay for it, the state would have to raise taxes that would have to rise as costs rise.

State Rep Teresa Fedor is sponsoring the Ohio Health Security Act (HB440). She says the funding mechanism for a single payer plan may come in the form of tax hikes. "It could be payroll taxes, business taxes, income taxes," Fedor told 13abc's Bill Hormann

How much taxes would increase is just a guess, right now. But advocates say the offset is no more co-pays, no more premiums and no more deductibles.

And savings would also be achieved through reductions in administrative costs.

John Stvartak, who attended a meeting on Fedor's single payer plan, says, "You eliminate the money going to the insurance companies, the CEOs, the advertising."

But there are concerns about the state offering low-ball rates that force doctors out of business, concerns over excessive state regulations, life- threatening delays to getting medications and treatment and
even long wait times for surgeries.

But Fedor says health care is a right and, right now, she says it's too expensive and not available to everyone.

California is looking at a single-payer system and expects a dramatic increase in taxes to pay the $400-billion cost.

Vermont abandoned its effort at single-payer 4-years ago because of the cost.

In the fall, a report will be released looking at Ohio's potential costs.

Fedor's bill will get a committee hearing in November.

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