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Health & Science

Feds Reject Ohio's Request to End the Obamacare Individual Mandate

photo of Steve Wagner

The federal government has rejected Ohio’s attempt to end the individual mandate for health care. The mandate is a mainstay of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Health care advocates say lawmakers should take this as a sign to work with Obamacare instead of against it.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says the state did not prove in its waiver request that enough Ohioans would still have access to affordable care if it were to end the individual mandate.

Steve Wagner, with the Universal Health Care Action Network, says the mandate helps bring down premiums.

“Look, we require everybody to have insurance if you want to own a car. There are reasons why you would want to spread the risk across the larger population,” he said.

Obamacare opponents argue that the law is forcing premiums to go up.

The Ohio Department of Insurance is looking into any potential next steps. The state was required to seek the waiver through a provision from Republican lawmakers. The department paid an actuarial firm nearly $400,000 to help with the waiver.