Defending property rights, expanding healthcare in Ohio

By Greg Lawson - Buckeye Institute

COLUMBUS — On Tuesday, The Buckeye Institute released Policy Briefs on two important issues for the General Assembly to address in its “lame duck” session.

First, an overwhelming majority of Ohioans favor reforming Ohio’s civil asset forfeiture laws in order to better protect private property, rebuild trust between law enforcement and communities, and enhance government transparency. Civil asset forfeiture allows the government to take ownership of a citizen’s private property through a civil lawsuit on suspicion that the property was part of criminal activity. Shockingly, Ohio law allows assets to be forfeited to the state without a criminal conviction. The Buckeye Institute’s new Policy Brief explains how to reform asset forfeiture rules without impeding law enforcement’s need to seize property used for criminal activity.

Second, as the demand for quality healthcare exceeds Ohio’s supply of doctors and nurses, policymakers must find effective ways to improve access to healthcare for low-income Ohioans. With the cost of treatment rising, even basic medical care remains unaffordable for many lower-income communities. Ohio’s Medicaid expansion will not solve this problem—especially as the new Congress and Trump Administration begin to revise federal healthcare policy.

The Buckeye Institute’s Policy Brief explains how “charity care” may help alleviate some of the supply-and-demand pressure that leads to higher medical bills. Unfortunately, medical practitioners have little incentive to provide charitable, low- or no-cost treatment. To encourage more “charity care,” policymakers should award continuing education credits to healthcare professionals who provide charitable treatment to Ohio’s underserved populations. The state should also relax several regulatory restrictions on Ohio’s licensed nurses in order to expand the pool of care providers available to the poor.

By Greg Lawson

Buckeye Institute