If the federal health insurance mandate takes effect as scheduled in 2014, premiums for private policies in Ohio will increase by as much as 150 percent, a study earlier this year determined. Is it any surprise, then, that Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor opposes the mandate fiercely?
Taylor has been outspoken in her opposition to the law, popularly known as "Obamacare" after President Barack Obama, who enlisted liberals in Congress to enact the measure. It will be bad for millions of Ohioans, as well as most other Americans.
Now Taylor is under fire from Buckeye State Democrats who say her opposition is not in the best interests of the estimated 1.5 million Ohioans who do not have health insurance.
One complaint is that Taylor, who also heads the state Department of Insurance, returned a $1 million federal grant to help establish a health insurance exchange in Ohio. That could help some people find affordable insurance policies, advocates say.
But only 13 states have begun work on such exchanges, and there is a good reason most are not proceeding.
Opponents of Obamacare point out that once states set up the exchange mechanisms demanded by the White House, they will, in effect, lock in some provisions of the law that may not be good for their residents. In fact, it is entirely possible the U.S. Supreme Court will invalidate the requirement all Americans buy government-approved health insurance.
By refusing to proceed with a state exchange, Taylor is merely leaving Ohioans' options open rather than beginning the process of forcing them into Obamacare.
Another complaint has been that Taylor's public opposition to the law has, somehow, caused state legislators to go slow on state compliance with Obamacare.
he last we heard, Taylor was just the state's lieutenant governor and head of its Department of Insurance - not a leader in the General Assembly. Surely Ohio lawmakers do not look to her for their "marching orders" on health care issues. If they want to proceed with Obamacare, they are free to do so.
Taylor is right: The federal health insurance mandate should be repealed. Until that happens, she is doing her duty to Ohioans in opposing the measure.