COLUMBUS (WKBN) – Few things are as politically divisive as how to deal with health care in America. While just about everyone agrees it’s not where it needs to be, there is great disagreement over how to improve it.
At the Ohio Statehouse, Democratic State Representatives Teresa Fedor and Bernadine Kennedy Kent have proposed legislation that seeks to create a single-payer system and health care for all.
“People want certainty in their life,” Fedor said. “We are at the point where we have to do something for the citizens because it’s life or death.”
State Representative Stephen Huffman didn’t disagree with that point. He has been a doctor for more than two decades and from his perspective, the health care situation we all face could be better.
“We need to fix that. We need to get healthcare for people and to provide the preventive care so that we don’t have the catastrophic cost later in life,” Huffman said.
Despite this common ground, Huffman and Fedor are at odds with how to solve the problem.
Fedor wants to create a single-payer system so they can negotiate as a state.
Huffman doesn’t think the single-payer system will work and claims it will only decrease the quality of care Ohioans would receive. He would prefer to see a pay-for-performance model similar to one some teachers are subject to be instituted.
Kennedy Kent, meanwhile, said she may be new to the legislature but she is hopeful Republicans will at least come to the table to discuss the bill.
“They have conversations about the abortion bill and they feel strongly about people before they are born, and I’m hoping we can have the conversation about people, saving them, after they’re here and they are human beings and they’re living and they want to pursue happiness and they want to make sure that they’re healthy,” she said.
With the Ohio legislature firmly in the grip of the GOP — which has supermajorities in both the House and Senate, not to mention a Republican in the governorship — some wonder why the Democrats are even trying to get this legislation through.
Huffman said it’s just a stunt and something to appease their constituents.
Fedor and Kennedy Kent said it’s because it’s what’s needed right now and no matter how difficult it may be, they must at least try.
The women said they plan to stick with the effort for as long as it takes and if the political winds shift to a more favorable legislative makeup, then that would certainly be helpful. But that would be up to the voters.