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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                               
October 29, 2009                                                                                                     (614) 466-0863

Batchelder To Governor: Federal Health Care Will Worsen Ohio’s Budget Situation

COLUMBUS—Ohio House Republican Leader William G. Batchelder (R-Medina) today was joined by his fellow caucus members in signing and delivering a letter to Governor Strickland, regarding their deep concern of the federal government’s universal health care plan.

“Whether or not Ohio adopts Congress’s health care overhaul will be crucial in determining our state's future,” Batchelder said. “Under the federal public option plan, we will see an increase in Medicaid enrollees by more than 27 percent, and with this mandated Medicaid expansion comes skyrocketing costs and less control over our own state assistance programs. The budget is already facing a deficit, and Ohioans certainly do not need more regulations, spending and heavy-handed policies from Washington.”

In the letter, Batchelder and House Republicans outlined growing concerns of the economic consequences of relinquishing control over Ohio's health care to Washington. According to Batchelder, adopting the federal regulations would be extremely damaging to Ohio’s long-term success and budget sustainability.

“While protecting the wellbeing of Ohio’s low-income families, elderly and people with disabilities, we must work to rein in costs to ensure that the program operates in an efficient, cost-effective manner,” Batchelder stated in the letter. “Adopting the universal health care bill in Ohio will further increase Medicaid’s share of the state operating budget and almost certainly guarantee tax increases on hardworking Ohioans and small businesses.”

House Republicans hope to encourage Governor Strickland to join the 17 other governors across the country in resisting adoption of a public option health care plan. They assert that as the state budget continues to face ongoing revenue shortfalls, accepting additional spending mandates from the federal government will punish Ohio’s families and push even more jobs out of our state.

“It is important as our state considers ideas for expanding health coverage for the uninsured that we do so without crippling our state budget or putting our health care industry and the jobs it provides in jeopardy,” Batchelder said. “If Governor Strickland truly hopes to change Ohio's health care system for the better, adopting Washington's inflexible and costly plan is not the best approach.”

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