As we move into summer, I want to provide you with an update on the status of House Bill 177, the Better Access, Better Care Act.
The past couple months have been very busy with the introduction of HB 177 and subsequent hearings. Representative Brinkman presented sponsor testimony in early April. Proponent testimony took place on April 30th followed by opponent testimony from OSMA in May. After several weeks of speaking with legislators and working with Representative Brinkman, interested party testimony occurred recently, on June 18th. While we had hoped for the bill to be voted out of the health committee before summer break, this did not occur. However, a lot of progress has been made and we thank all of you for your support and participation in our advocacy efforts.
Over 2,000 letters have been sent to legislators in the Ohio House of Representatives. Additionally, several articles and opinion pieces have been published in newspapers across the state all in support of HB 177.
We are still very hopeful that progress will be made when legislators return to Columbus in September. To ensure we are in the best position possible, our Key Person Program volunteers will be conducting legislator meetings throughout the month of July to advocate for the bill and answer legislator questions. In September, we will hit the ground running and continue the strong push to get HB 177 out of the House and to the Senate by the end of the year. There are many ways you can help.
If you have not written a letter to your Representative, please do so by clicking HERE. Call your legislator’s office to encourage their support. You can also make a donation to help with our efforts HERE.
This is not something we can do alone. The more we encourage ourselves, our colleagues and our friends and neighbors to take action, the better our chances. We need your ongoing support to improve healthcare access for all Ohioans!