Posts Tagged 'State Rep. John Patrick Carney'

Kasich and Taylor Give Away State Control for Partisan Political Games

Lt. Governor Mary Taylor has once again put politics over the interests of Ohio’s businesses and consumers by not submitting a list of minimum essential benefits to be covered under Ohio health insurance policies.  Citing a lack of clarity in rules from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), she ignored an important deadline in implementing federal health care reform.

“The Lt. Governor consistently derides ‘Obamacare’ and federal mandates and yet, when given the opportunity for control over how the insurance industry will be regulated in Ohio, she opts for a one-size-fits-all federal model,” said Representative John Patrick Carney (D-Columbus). “Secretary Sebelius and HHS recognized that all states are not the same and allowed states the opportunity to regulate themselves. Ohio has a unique economy and unique demographics.  What works in California or Texas or Indiana may not be best for Ohioans.”

Insurance is one of Ohio’s largest industries.  According to the Ohio Department of Development, Ohio’s health insurance sector employs nearly 50,000 people—ranked 6th highest in the nation.

Representative Carney has been a champion of state control in implementing health reform in Ohio.  Last January, he introduced HB 412 with Rep. Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) to establish an individual and small business health benefit exchange.  In their legislation, a board of industry experts would be responsible for establishing minimum essential benefits in Ohio.

“The refusal of this administration to implement any part of the Affordable Care Act demonstrates a disheartening willingness to put political gamesmanship before the best interests of the people of Ohio,” Rep. Carney said.  “The opposition to certain provisions of the ACA appears to stem not from concerns over their merit, but rather from a staunch refusal to admit that an idea—first implemented by a Republican Governor, then adopted by a Democratic President—could actually benefit the people.”

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Rep. Carney Urges State to Move Forward with Healthcare Exchange

State Representative John Patrick Carney is again calling on the administration to move forward with setting up a state run Health Benefits Exchange. On Tuesday, while speaking in Bowling Green Lt. Gov. and Director of the Department of Insurance Mary Taylor made clear Gov. Kasich’s administrations intentions to neglect setting up a health insurance market place required under the Affordable Care Act.  Lt. Gov. Taylor said “At this point, we are not going to set up a state-based exchange.”

“This administration and the Lt. Governor continue to put partisan politics over good policy that will benefit and protect Ohioans.  They have made it clear that they believe the federal government can manage Ohio’s robust health insurance industry better than they can,” Rep. Carney said.

According to the Ohio Association of Health Plans (OAHP), Ohio is ranked 6th in the nation as a Health insurance employer.  More than 46,000 people are employed in Ohio’s health insurance industry and in 2010 another 1,000 jobs were added to this sector of Ohio’s economy.  Of the 34 health insuring corporations listed in the Ohio Department of Insurance’s annual report 25 are domiciled in Ohio and could potentially be excluded from participation in a federally run exchange.  If these companies were to be excluded Ohio could lose out on the more that $200 million in premium taxes collected from these corporations.

“In addition to the economic blow we could suffer as a state, Ohio’s consumers would also lose out in a federally run exchange.  Ohio’s plans are consistently rated above the national average in consumer satisfaction and consistently below the national average in costs.  This is what the administration is choosing to give up in exchange for an applause line at political rallies.”

According to data on the OAHP’s website, 15 Ohio health plans were listed is U.S. News and World Report’s Top Health Plans rankings for Commercial, Medicare and Medicaid plans in 2010 and in 2011, JD Power and Associates reported that Ohio’s health plans rank three points above the national average in consumer satisfaction.

Rep. Carney introduced House Bill 412 earlier this year to establish The Ohio Health Benefit Exchange Agency with broad based support from consumers, health insurers, providers, and the business community.

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Reps. Carney & Winburn Help to Guard Citizens from Identity Theft

State Reps. John Carney and Roland Winburn announced today that they will be introducing new comprehensive legislation to address the growing threat of online identity theft.  According to recent reports by the Columbus Dispatch there are a growing number of identity thefts due to breached information from computer hacking.

“Cyber fraud is a growing problem in our communities all across the state and around the nation.  Criminals continue to pursue new ways to take advantage of citizens at every turn, and doing so via the internet is becoming their method of choice,” said Rep. Carney.  “We must meet this problem head on and do all we can to protect people from these serious crimes which can jeopardize a person’s credit, income, and personal safety.  It is time we start standing up for the average citizen and do everything in our power to keep people from falling prey to online hackers and criminals.”

Technology has left consumers increasingly at risk for identity theft which is scarring the credit scores of thousands of Ohioans, many of whom are often completely unaware they have become victims until they are unable to obtain a car loan or mortgage. Children are also becoming greater targets of identity theft, many having hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt in their names and even mortgages by the time they are age 18.

“This legislation is desperately needed.  Too often we hear stories of individuals falling victim to cyber crimes without realizing it until it is far too late for them to recover their assets or regain their piece of mind.  The legislation we have proposed would hold businesses and institutions accountable by requiring them to notify individuals of any security breach of their online databases that could comprise the safety of an individual’s personal information.  Agencies, corporations, and businesses should have a moral and legal obligation to inform people when their private information is in danger,” said Rep. Winburn.

Reps. Carney and Winburn will introduce legislation that would specifically require state agencies, businesses, and institutions to report any breach in the security of a computerized database that includes personal information to the Ohio Attorney General if any Ohio resident’s personal information was, or is reasonably believed to have been, accessed and acquired by an unauthorized person.  It also requires that the report be filed no later than 40 days following the discovery of the breach in the security system. The Ohio Attorney General’s office would be required to create a public online searchable database which would disclose all cases regarding all state agencies, agencies of political subdivisions, and persons who have reported a breach of their security system containing individual’s personal information.

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