In addition to leading the state’s drive to make Ohio a more jobs-friendly state by reforming business regulations through the Common Sense Initiative, Taylor also heads the statewide department charged with regulating one of Ohio’s most significant businesses – the insurance industry.
As Taylor noted during her Dec. 12 speech at the Wooster Rotary Club, “insurance is a very critical industry in the state of Ohio.
“We are the 19th largest insurance market in the world,” said Taylor, noting that Ohio’s $55 billion insurance industry employs more than 216,000 Ohioans.
“We want to make sure they have a marketplace that they can function in so that they can continue to provide low cost premiums on insurance,” said Taylor.
One segment of the insurance market – the health insurance market – will see significant changes if President Barack Obama’s health care reform package is fully implemented.
“I have been traveling this state talking a lot about Obamacare. The reason that I am is that I think it is important that Ohioans are informed about what is going to happen to our health insurance market,” said Taylor.
“Ultimately, what’s being imposed by Washington is not going to drive down costs as we were told it was going to. In fact, it is going to do just the opposite.”
Taylor noted that according to a study recently released by the state, individuals who purchase health insurance will see their premiums increase 55-85 percent.
“If you are a small group or a small business who purchases insurance for your employees, you’re going to see your insurance premiums go up five to 15 percent and that’s on top of the increases that you’re already seeing,” added Taylor.
While some note that government subsidies will pay part of the increased costs, “at the end of the day a subsidy is a tax. Somebody is going to pay for it and the taxpayers are going to pay for it and instead of getting lower costs we’re going to see higher costs,” said Taylor.
“We’re also going to see more Ohioans moved into Medicaid.
“When Obamacare is fully implemented we’re going to have one million more Ohioans being paid for through Medicaid,” said Taylor, adding, “at the end of the day nearly half of Ohioans…will be subsidized in one form or another by state or federal government to purchase health care.
“We need to come up with an Ohio solution and that’s what I want the option to do,” said Taylor.
“I want the federal government to stop telling us what’s best for us and I want to work with all of you to come up with a solution that works for Ohio...that protects our market but most importantly protects Ohio’s consumers.
“We need to do what we can to make sure that (consumers) have the option available to them to purchase low cost health insurance,” said Taylor.
As part of that effort, Taylor wants those who purchase insurance to be “informed consumers like we are with every other purchase we make so that you can make the decision that is best for your family, so you are in charge…about those decisions related to your health care for you and for your family.”
She also wants options available for small business owners “that best suit you, your company and your employees” and for the state to “do what we can to protect and preserve those options so you can continue to provide low cost health insurance to your employees.”
“We can get there. We just need the opportunity to do that,” said Taylor.
Published: December 18, 2011