In case you missed it… Ohio Democrats are keeping up the drumbeat on Donald Trump’s broken promises on health care, and they were in Portage County on Friday, highlighting how prescription drug prices have continued to skyrocket and how Trump and the GOP have attacked the Affordable Care Act and its protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
John Kennedy, a Type 1 diabetic for 27 years, held up a vial of insulin, which he said is like oxygen for diabetics.
But the price of the drug has gone up by 1,500 percent in recent years, forcing some diabetics to ration their insulin or make trips to Canada to buy it for less. And he estimates that more than 1 million Ohioans with pre-existing conditions are diabetics.
“If the Affordable Care Act goes away, there are going to be caravans going to Windsor,” he said. “They’ll have to widen the roads.”
Kennedy, who is running for Portage County Commissioner, made his comments in a Friday morning event sponsored by the Ohio Democratic Party to discuss health care. David Pepper, chairman of the state’s Democratic party, said 25 percent of Ohio hospitals would be at risk of closing if the Affordable Care Act is repealed and Medicaid expansion ends.
Speakers included John Kovacich, who is opposing Kennedy in the Democratic primary for commissioner; Betsy Rader, who is running for Ohio Senate in District 18, which includes Portage County; and Greg Johnson, one of four Democrats running for Portage County Sheriff on March 17.
Speakers expressed concern about the potential repeal of the Affordable Care Act and the loss of coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, something they said President Donald Trump has been advocating for throughout his presidency.
Portage County Treasurer Brad Cromes said Ohio ranks 10th in the nation in bankruptcy, and 62 percent of those are caused by medical issues. Many of those cases, he said, take place in Portage County. Cromes said his late aunt struggled with serious medical issues and had a hard time paying her bills.
“I am convinced that had there been a better system in place, she might still be with us,” he said.
He said state Rep. Randi Clites is the lead sponsor of House Bill 390, which would provide health care for Ohioans with pre-existing conditions, should the Affordable Care Act be repealed.
Dean DePerro, chairman of Portage County’s Democratic Party, said he is also a physician and county coroner, and said he realized how serious the opioid epidemic was when “I started signing death certificates for people who were my kids’ age.” Right now, he said, there is a lot of concern about the coronavirus, but 130 people each day die of drug overdoses.
“If we continue to erode the Affordable Care Act, we’re going to continue to go down that rabbit hole,” he said.
They went to Chillicothe, Ironton and Marietta, which are typical southern Ohio cities and county seats — they’re smaller cities, but they’re important places. And they went there mainly because they wanted to talk to the voters there about what the Trump administration has meant for them. A lot of promises were made in 2016 that the economy would be better in places like that, that jobs would bounce back. And their argument was that he has been a threat to health care, he’s been a threat to jobs, and he’s been a threat to, now a threat to putting Social Security on the table as a possible cut.
In other words, they’re saying that people in southern Ohio should be outraged that they were told one thing, and they’re getting another.
Kent Record-Courier: Portage Dems talk health care
Ironton Tribune: Dems bring health care message