State Representative Kyle Koehler (R-Springfield) voted for legislation that, with approval from Congress, would give Ohio more freedom and flexibility over its healthcare policies.
House Bill 34 ratifies the Health Care Compact, through which Ohio would enter a multi-state contract that would secure more rights to the states for healthcare policy decisions. The measure is a response to rising costs and deficits, as well as the increased federal overreach into health care. If signed into law by Governor Kasich and approved by the US Congress, the Compact allows Ohio to suspend the operation of all federal healthcare laws and regulations that are inconsistent with Ohio laws adopted through the Compact. Should Congress approve the Compact, however, it would still be up to the state legislature whether to change Ohio’s healthcare policy, as well as what those specific changes would be.
“House Bill 34 is just the beginning to restoring state sovereignty when it comes to health care in Ohio,” Koehler said. “State sovereignty seems to be something many members of our Federal Government no longer understand. This bill begins the long process of re-establishing the idea that the federal government has enumerated powers and the individual state's constitutional mandate to protect individual liberty.”
Under the legislation, Ohio would receive federal funding to support health coverage each fiscal year. The amount of funding would be determined based on the estimated level of federal funding used for health care, which would be updated periodically based on population and inflation.
The Health Care Compact included a set of core principles, inspired by the goals of personal freedom and federalism. The principles include:
- The separation of powers, both between the branches of the federal government and between federal and state authority, is essential to the preservation of individual liberty
- The Constitution creates a federal government of limited and enumerated powers, and reserves to the states or to the people those powers not granted to the federal government
- The member states seek to protect individual liberty and personal control over healthcare decisions, and believe the best method to achieve these ends is by vesting regulatory authority over health care in the states
House Bill 34 now goes to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.