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Health and Medicine




Romney, Obama surrogates argue health-care impact in Ohio
Business owner says it spells the end of a good thing, Massachusetts lawmaker says its working
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE CORRESPONDENT JO INGLES
This story is part of a special series.


Reporter
Jo Ingles
 

A Northwest Ohio business owner claims many Ohioans who have good health care now will lose it if a key part of the new federal health care law is allowed to go into effect. Kyle Koehler says he provides good insurance for the employees in his small machine and stamping business but might be forced to drop it to be able to compete under the federal health care plan.

Koehler on perils of healthcare overhaul

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But David Linsky  -- a Massachusetts lawmaker-- says that’s not what happened when Massachusettes adoped universal health care under then Gov. Mitt Romney.

 

Linsky says it's working in Massachusetts
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(0:27)


When Republican Mitt Romney was governor of Massachusetts, David Linsky was, and still is, a member of Massachusset’s Legislature.  Linsky says the policies Romney has championed during his tenure have hurt the state.

“Mitt Romney made three simple promises when he ran for governor,” Linsky says. “He promised us more jobs, he promised us less debt and he promised us smaller government.”

Linsky says Romney broke each of those promises and has led Massachusetts’s to slower job creation, more debt and bigger government. Linsky says he is speaking out to set the record straight.

“I feel a responsibility to warn the country what happened under Gov. Romney’s watch in Massachusetts,” Linsky says. “I’ve seen a few other governors come and go.  Some were better than others.  Most actually spent time in the state, unlike Mitt Romney, who in 2006 spent more than 200 days, more than half of the year, out of town.  He was more like a governor from Massachusetts than a governor of Massachusetts.  He was a Massachusetts drive-by governor.”

But Kyle Koehler, a business owner from Northwest Ohio, says many of the state’s small businesses cannot continue under the policies of President Obama. Koehler says he is troubled by the tax code that changes every year.

“We need to simplify that so it doesn’t change so we as a business can plan from one year to the next,” Koehler says.

Koehler’s small company does stamping and machine work for the auto and truck industry.  But if you think he might agree with the bailout of two of the big three automakers that President Obama supported, think again.

“I know a lot of us are down and still down,” Koehler says. “I’m not sure what it has accomplished but it has not changed things in our area.”

Koehler says the president’s environmental policies are hurting businesses, and he’s afraid for the future if President Obama is re-elected, especially when it comes to the effects of the president’s health care plan.  Koehler says he provides good health care coverage for his employees and that would be in jeopardy if the new national health care law takes effect.

“If it’s fully implemented, we are going to compete with companies that simply drop their health care, pay the penalty and settle for cut rate government health care,” Koehler says. “It’s something we would never do for our employees because we have to care about them like we care for our own families.  In the end, we are not going to be able to compete with folks who do that.”

But Linsky of Massachusetts says that’s not what happened when Massachusetts put its health care plan in place under Gov. Romney.

“People did not have to give up their private health care coverage,” Linsky says. “They stayed with it.  People are happy with it.  We are actually working now on some health containment measures.  The rate of increases in health insurance costs are now much lower than they are in the rest of the nation.  The experiment is working, quite frankly, in Massachusetts.”

Democrats credit the health care initiative for already providing care to people who could not otherwise get care.  And Democrats say the bailout of the auto industry that the president backed and Romney then opposed is working to preserve jobs for many Ohioans.  They note one of every eight jobs in Ohio is tied to the auto industry.

Listener Comments:

I am 66 years old and have heard about health care and making college affordable since the early 1960's. Neither party has done what they promised since then. They are all the same! If you doubt my comment, then how did we get where we are today, if Democrats or Republicans had done the best for us since 1960's?????????


Posted by: Bill Sindelar (Parma, Ohio) on June 10, 2012 9:06AM
Sadly... you are reporting the exact opposite of what I said in the clip you provided. I stated that we would NOT drop our coverage and allow our employees and our families resort to government run health care.

I said it would be hard to compete against those who do.

I clearly said... "we would never do that to our employees". Why would you report that I said we "might be forced to drop it"???

Kyle Koehler


Posted by: Kyle Koehler (Ohio) on June 5, 2012 11:06AM
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