Growing anxiety over the rising costs of health insurance and health care prompted the Ohio House to create a new Committee. Since its inception in February 2007, the Healthcare Access & Affordability Committee has been evaluating current healthcare trends and examining measures adopted by other states designed to reform healthcare systems. The Committee has heard testimony from healthcare professionals, healthcare providers, Ohio agency directors, and many others. The Committee will continue its deliberations during the summer through a series of “field hearings” and hopes to utilize the information gathered to craft a healthcare reform package that will be introduced and considered sometime this fall.

At the same time, Governor Strickland continues to develop the Ohio Healthcare Exchange, a program the Governor proposed as part of his “Turnaround Ohio” gubernatorial campaign platform. Over the next few months, the Governor’s office and the Ohio Department of Insurance will focus on ways to offer uninsured Ohioans low-cost health insurance. The Department of Insurance is expected to host a series of interested-parties meetings on this issue, which will likely commence at the end of July.