Universal health care push being revived in Ohio

The soaring cost of health care and the lack of political support in Washington for federal changes has Ohio, doctors, union officials and religious leaders gathering signatures to get a single-payer health system placed on a ballot next year.

Advocates of a single-payer system — where the government would collect taxes and cover everyone, similar to programs in Canada and across Europe — have introduced bills in at least 18 state legislatures.

Not since Oregon in 2002 has a state voted on a single-payer health system. Voters there soundly rejected it, as did Californians in 1994. Both times, the proposals came under fierce assault from the medical, insurance and pharmaceutical industries.

Across the nation, the number of uninsured is 45 million and rising, and 16 million lack enough insurance to cover all their medical bills.

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