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House Democrats Prepare For Life After Affordable Care Act

Rep. Jeff Crossman (D-Parma) presents details on bill to include patient protections in Ohio law.
Andy Chow
Ohio Public Radio
Rep. Jeff Crossman (D-Parma), left, presents details on bill to include patient protections in Ohio law.

Democratic state lawmakers want to add the patient protections found in the Affordable Care Act into Ohio law to ensure coverage for pre-existing conditions and other "essential health benefits" no matter what happens to the federal law in court.

House Democrats say the patient protections through the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, hang in the balance as a federal court prepares to make its decision on a case.

That's why Rep. Jeff Crossman (D-Parma) wants to shield those protections by adding them to Ohio law.

"If the plaintiff's successful it will likely return us to the bad old days when a person suffering from common conditions such as asthma or diabetes or even high blood pressure may once again have to worry about lifetime caps or coverage refusals," Crossman says.

Crossman says putting these protections into Ohio law now will give people peace of mind.

"If there is an invalidation of the ACA or if it's pending an appeal in the U.S. Supreme Court which everybody's anticipating then it's not going to fundamentally alter how people are receiving their health care, their prices, things like that," Crossman says.

Minority Democrats hope to get some bipartisan support, they mention that Gov. Mike DeWine has also made promises to protect pre-existing conditions if the court strikes it down.

DeWine's office says he's open to reviewing the language of the bill.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.