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Who, What, Why & What Now: Questions on HB 194 and Health Insurance for Ohioans

It all began with the HB 194 – a law that was passed in 2011 which led many Ohioans to protest certain portions of the law. The main points of contention were the reduced voting access, a shorter early voting period, the expanded voter’s ID requirements and technical requirements for provisional and absentee voters especially for overseas and military voters, and the changes in poll worker responsibilities. Thus was born the Fair Elections Ohio movement composed of voting rights advocates, concerned citizens, some legislators, progressive organizations, and labor unions.

From the other end of the debate, those who endorsed the HB 194 called Fair Elections Ohio members as leftist liberals whose only purpose was to take advantage of the lax procedures on absentee voting. An ABC News report even went so far as to state that the Fair Election Ohio group was the “army of campaign volunteers” from the camp of President Obama that refused to accept changes in the voting procedures.

However, the Fair Elections Ohio organization insists it is not a left-leaning group in any form or a liberal, progressive organization. In short, all they wanted was to retain the 35 election days for early voting which was reduced drastically in-person absentee voting starting 6 p.m. on the Friday before an election day.

Latest News on Fair Elections Ohio

Last June 2013, a federal judge, US District Court Judge George C. Smith, dismissed the lawsuit against the HB 914 saying that a request for a referendum was moot and academic. The HB 194 had been partially repealed in May 2012. The law still retained the portion banning weekend voting prior to Election Day which the Fair Elections Ohio group claimed would affect 100,000 or more voters who habitually vote the weekend before Election Day.

How Insurance Companies Affect Ohio Residents

Under the new health care law, states are allowed to set up their own online exchange or rely on the federal online marketplace. Ohio is one of the states where the price of health insurance rose 30% from 2003 to 2009 for families and 25% for single policy holders.  As of 2009, 14% of adult Ohioans and 9% of the Ohioan children are uninsured.

Last November 2012, the governor of Ohio, John Kasich informed the federal government that the state would not set up its own state exchange. This means Ohioans have to follow and enroll with the federal-run online marketplace. According to a study done by CNN Money, Ohioans, which is a Republican-led state, will likely see an average increase of 41% on health insurance with the new set-up.

This is because the coverage is more comprehensive and has to include coverage for everyone – or subsidized insurance for those who cannot afford it to be paid for by those who can afford insurance. Most definitely health insurance will be a sensitive issue in the next elections. Already rumors are circulating that there will be new rules wherein cancelled insurance policies may be reinstated until after the elections in 2014. This implies that health insurance is going to be used as an election issue between now and 2014 elections.

Ohio Auto Insurance Laws

Ohio requires drivers to carry a certain amount of car insurance levels to be legal in the state. Bodily Injury and property damage are required. On the other hand car insurance companies in Ohio are not required to offer under insurance or uninsured motorists coverage as compared to most other states. Learn more about state auto insurance coverage here.