Because too many Ohioans, including children, have no affordable health insurance coverage, have no reliable access to healthcare, and have health problems that can be prevented or controlled, Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland initiated an effort to reform Ohio's healthcare coverage system and appointed the Healthcare Coverage Initiative Advisory Committee to assist with the undertaking. OOA Director of Government Relations George F. Dunigan was appointed to the panel, which includes representatives from business, labor, hospitals, physician groups, consumers, government, insurers, and others.
Among the Committee's charges are to expand health coverage to all children, reduce the number of uninsured adults by 2011, and improve the overall health of Ohioans by addressing the causes of poor health through an emphasis on prevention.
As part of the effort, the State of Ohio was one of 14 states selected to participate in a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation program called the State Coverage Initiative (SCI). The SCI program assists state considering systematic substantial and comprehensive health reform to develop and implement policies that will expand access to healthcare. Technical assistance, background research, on-site consultant visits, and other means of support are provided through the program on an on-going basis to model and implement reform options.
In addition, stakeholder groups are currently being formed to share information that will shape plans to cover Ohio's uninsured residents. To join one of these stakeholder groups, and for more information about the initiative, go to www.healthcarereform.ohio.gov