Third Biennial Teach-In a Success
On the heels of the introduction of SB 112 by Senator Skindell Ohio SD 23 and co-sponsored by Senator Nina Turner Ohio SD 25 March 10 , 2011, members of the SPAN Ohio Lobby Committee met with members of both houses of the Ohio Legislature March 15th. Those attending for SPAN Ohio were Dr. Johnathon Ross Region 2, Arlene Sheak Region 3, Dr. Donald Rucknagel and Dr. Dick Bozian Region 4, Dr Alice Faryna Bob Krasen and Connie Hammond Region 5, and Debbie Silverstein and Mary Nichols-Rhodes Region 6. Special recognition to our committee co-chairs Debbie and Mary for doing the bulk of the preparation for this event in conjunction with the office of State Representative Robert Hagan and Mike Foley’s offices to arrange the meeting space atop the Riffe Office tower in Columbus.
Throughout the day, in-office meetings were attended by our committee with Ohio Senators and Representatives totaling more than 10% of the entire legislature. At the midday presentation even more legislative staff was in attendance to hear our own Dr. Ross explain the scope of the problem with healthcare access in Ohio and the solution that the Health Care For All Ohioans Act provides. After Dr. Ross completed, Debbie Silverstein presented the economic data that SPAN Ohio has assembled to illustrate the positive effect the HCFAOA would have on state budget conditions. This timely discussion of the cost advantages stood in sharp contrast to the budget machete that, ironically, was being wielded on the other end of the hall by Governor Kasich at the same moment. See the News and Opinion section of this site for an entertaining narrative written by Mary Nichols-Rhodes. In the end we did a great deal of education and outreach to the legislature and citizens there to oppose the Governor’s budget proposal.
PPACA….. Popular support for doing more
Polls conducted this year have consistently shown that though the public is closely split on positive or negative reaction to the Affordable Care Act, solid support is growing that more should be done. Associated Press polls conducted January 5 thru 10 show 43% support for “doing more” vs. 26% for repeal. These results show an 8% increase in support for “doing more” and an 11% decrease in support for repeal from October 2010. Likewise in Public Policy Polling conducted February 3 thru 6 the largest plurality of any category (38%) wanted the federal law changed to make it stronger. 56% of self described Moderates favored no change or making the ACA stronger and even 15% of self described Conservatives felt the same. Finally, a survey of the most important issues among voters, the top four according to Senator Sherrod Brown’s office were, in order of importance: Federal Deficit, Jobs, Protection of Medicare and Affordable Healthcare. As we know the best way to protect Medicare is to enhance and expand it to all! In addition that would enhance economic competitiveness, improve job prospects, and by extension help raise revenues to mitigate the deficit.