Office of Health Transformation Update
May 6, 2015
Better Planning for Better Health
The Health Policy Institute of Ohio (HPIO) hosted a conference on April 29 aimed at strengthening partnerships among Ohio's hospitals and local health districts. For example, the thoughtful coordination of hospital community benefit resources was highlighted as an opportunity to positively impact health outcomes. This idea is supported by Governor Kasich's Blueprint for a New Ohio (HB 64), which proposes to align existing local health district and hospital community benefit plans toward shared priorities like reducing Ohio's infant mortality rate and tobacco use. The Ohio House removed these provisions, but the bill has since moved to the Senate, where the Office of Health Transformation (OHT) will again advocate consideration of strategies to improve health outcomes.
2/3 of Voters Support Increasing Ohio's Cigarette Tax
Most Ohio voters (64.5 percent) favor increasing the tax on tobacco products in order to offset an income tax reduction, as proposed in Governor Kasich's Blueprint for a New Ohio (HB 64). Strong voter support and other benefits of increasing Ohio's cigarette tax by $1.00 per pack and raising the other tobacco products rate to match are the subject of a coalition fact sheet published by The American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Stroke Association, and American Lung Association. The coalition is encouraging the Senate to reinstate the cigarette tax increase, which was removed by the Ohio House during its consideration of HB 64.