Ohio is the battleground for the nation’s next Special Election for Congress, and healthcare is on the ballot.
On August 7, voters in seven Ohio counties will choose between two candidates with very different approaches to healthcare issues. To make sense of what’s at stake, we put together a fact sheet to highlight the issues in play in Congress for residents of the 12th Congressional District.
Since the ACA’s passage, the uninsured rate in District 12 has dropped from 9.2 to 4.1 percent.
30 percent of the district’s 748,000 residents have some form of public healthcare, including
9% of District 12 kids rely on the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
Nineteen percent of District 12 residents are on Medicaid, including many seniors and people with disabilities
328,300 residents of District 12 have a pre-existing condition
During the primary, Republican Troy Balderson claimed to have “fought Obamacare” and his campaign has stated that Balderson “wants to repeal and replace it in Congress.” Balderson, however, says he would like to see the requirement to cover individuals with pre-existing conditions preserved.
As a State Senator, Balderson voted to freeze Medicaid expansion during state budget negotiations. The plan would prohibit new enrollment in the program and block re-enrollment as current enrollees cycle off due to income and employment fluctuations and was estimated could result in a loss of coverage for 500,000 Ohioans. The measure was vetoed by Governor Kasich.
A major theme of Democrat Danny O’Connor‘s campaign is preserving access to affordable healthcare. O’Connor is running televised ads featuring his mother, a breast cancer survivor, noting that the experience led him to realize everyone–regardless of income–should have access to affordable healthcare. O’Connor supports the Affordable Care Act and says he wants to preserve the law.
O’Connor says he favors so-called “common sense” reforms including “extending open enrollment periods during tax season, protecting those with pre-existing conditions and spending money to encourage younger and healthier people to get federally subsidized individual insurance plans.” He has also promised to take on pharmaceutical and insurance companies.
Regarding healthcare for older Ohioans, O’Connor says he would not change the current retirement age for Medicare, while Balderson says he is open to raising the retirement age.
>> View Our Healthcare Fact Sheet>> Return to our District 12 Special Election Resources Page