AVON LAKE — Ohio Democratic gubernatorial candidate Richard Cordray highlighted his health care plan and took some shots at Republican candidate Mike DeWine, during a visit to the Lorain County Democratic Party’s picnic in Avon Lake on Tuesday evening.
Cordray, former attorney general and state treasurer and representative, said the plan will extend coverage to more Ohioans and make health care affordable — a goal for Cordray and running-mate Betty Sutton.
“We’ve talked to people about how Betty Sutton and I are campaigning on the ‘kitchen table issues’ this year,” he said. “The economic issues that people worry about in terms of their futures and their family’s futures, and their (children) and grandchildren, and themselves. And (those issues are) access to affordable health care, and to (education) and training, and it’s spreading out economic opportunities across the state so that no one is left out or left behind — and a big killer of that (economic opportunity) is healthcare.
Cordray’s health care plan, shared in a press release, will look to increase coverage by leveraging Medicaid expansion, allowing insurance premiums to stay low for middle-income families. It also highlights the need to prioritize primary and preventative care — something Cordray touched on during the picnic.
“If they don’t have access to health care, if it’s taken away (and) they’re shoved back outside the system, what will happen?” he said. “They will not see the doctor, they will not get preventive care. They will fester, their problems will become more serious, more severe and more costly and then they will find their way into the emergency rooms to see the doctor in the emergency room. And that’s very expensive and we will not fail to treat them and we will all pay in our premiums for that (care).”
He said his plan will put an emphasis on immunizations and help for vulnerable populations like pregnant mothers, while utilizing lower-cost services like “tele-care,” or services and screenings that can be provided through the internet.
While explaining his stance on Medicaid expansion, Cordray said it is one issue Mike DeWine has flip-flopped on for years.
“One of the things that we have seen so far in this campaign … is you cannot trust Mike DeWine when it comes to your health care, because he has been all over the map on this issue and I don’t yet know where he’s landed,” Cordray said. “He was against the Obamacare for eight years. His first day in office he filed and joined the lawsuit to upset Obamacare and wipe it out — which ultimately failed of course, but that’s where he was. And he campaigned this year, in the primary against the Medicaid expansion … And now suddenly he tells us he’s for the Medicaid expansion, he’s been for it all along. Bologna.”
He continued, using his opponent’s years as a politician against him.
“He will say anything in order to try to get votes,” Cordray said. “He is a political animal of 42 years of gestation and he’s been doing this over and over again.”
Cordray also mentioned the recent payday lending reform bill, House Bill 123, which went to Gov. John Kasich for his signature Tuesday. Cordray previously has criticized the state’s lending laws, calling them “unconscionable” on Twitter due to loopholes allowing businesses to charge more than 500 percent interest. The new bill, which would cap the interest rate for short-term loans, and close previous loopholes, had stalled in the House prior to Speaker Cliff Rosenberger’s resignation amid a probe into his involvement with payday lobbyists. Cordray said 41 lobbyists worked to block the bill in Columbus.
“We have a Speaker of the House who resigned in scandal over payday lending lobbyists, and by the way, there’s been a bill rattling around up there, and they’re now passing it — a reform measure — solely because they’re trying to clean up their scandal,” he said.
Cordray said he and Sutton would work to “clean up” the scandals in Columbus, like the payday lending one, or that involving ECOT — where the online charter school claimed funding for inflated attendance records.
“We will insist on accountability, we will insist on making sure that what is being done is done right and for schools that are failing our children, we will put them out of business and get that money back for our public schools. These are things that I think matter enormously to people across the state. They want government that works for them, not government that works for themselves … In this race this year, there’s a lot at stake. It’s the next four or the next eight years … of what kind of direction we step in as a state … If you elect Better Sutton and myself, we will step into the future for this state.”
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