Lt. gov. discusses Ohio’s future during Bowling Green visitWritten by Brian Bohnert | | email@example.com
Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor discussed Ohio’s economic progress, as well as the future of state’s health care and small businesses during a visit to Bowling Green on July 10.
Serving as the guest speaker for Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce’s Mid-Year Meeting and Awards Program at Stone Ridge Golf Club, Taylor addressed many key issues facing Ohio voters as they approach the upcoming election, mainly job creation and the Ohio government’s economic progress.
Most of her focus was on the current health care system throughout the United States and the passage of President Obama’s health care reform. After considering whether to implement a state-run health care exchange, Taylor said Gov. Kasich and his administration have decided not to pursue the option.
“At this point, we are not going to set up a state-based exchange,” Taylor said.
The governor’s office has until Nov. 16 to inform the federal government of any plans to start its own program or leave it up to the government to do so. In implementing a state-run health care exchange, Taylor said administrative and operative costs would range from anywhere between $30 million to $40 million a year, with no direct benefit to Ohioans due to the recent upholding of the health care mandate.
“Based on all the information we have available for us today, the reports we’ve done, the information that is scant out of Washington about how we are required to comply, we have made a decision that we do not think it is in the best interest of Ohio citizens to do a state-based exchange at this point,” she said.
Not only does President Obama’s health care reform impact individual households, but it also has an effect on small businesses. Taylor said for any small business that covers its employees through health insurance, premiums could rise anywhere from 5 to 150 percent, on top of the average increases that already take place.
Speaking as the director of the Department of Insurance, Taylor also expressed concern over the state’s the insurance industry, both as a means of job creation and as a means of health security for Ohio citizens. She said Ohio’s insurance industry is the 19th largest in the world, with 216,000 direct jobs in the field, as well as 270,000 agents and brokers, making a total payroll impact of $10.3 million.
“It’s a significant industry, one that is doing very well in Ohio; but, one that we’re very interested in growing and creating more jobs in the industry,” she said.
Going hand in hand with creating more jobs, Taylor is concerned with the future generations of Americans living under the weight of the heavy fiscal changes taking place. Thinking of her own family, Taylor said it is her duty to keep the prospect of the “American Dream” alive for all Ohioans.
“I have a 21-year-old and an 18-year-old son, and I know all of the opportunities I had here in Ohio and how important I have always felt to be able to achieve whatever it is I’ve wanted to achieve,” she said. “And I can commit to you today that I will do my part every day to make sure that every future generation of Ohio will have that same opportunity that I had.”