COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Few things are as politically divisive as how to deal with healthcare in America.
While just about everyone agrees healthcare is not where it needs to be; there is great disagreement with how to get it to the point where it is.
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 healthcare for all.
“People want certainty in their life,” said Fedor. “We are at the point where we have to do something for the citizens because it’s life or death.”
State Representative Stephen Huffman won’t disagree with that point. He has been a doctor for more than two decades and from his perspective the healthcare 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,” said Huffman.
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, says 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,” said Kennedy Kent.
With the Ohio legislature firmly in the grip of the GOP, with super majorities 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 says it’s just a stunt, and something to appease their constituents.
Fedor and Kennedy Kent say, 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 say 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.