September 3, 2021

Ohio Capitol Journal: Analysis: Collision looms in Ohio’s vaccination debate as more mandates stack up

Ohio Capitol Journal

In a sudden and unmistakable shift, Ohio’s vaccine debate transcended from the abstract to concrete.

An inevitable collision looms.

Even before the pandemic, some Ohio Republican lawmakers have sought to limit the ability of businesses — especially hospitals — to require vaccination from employees. This year, lawmakers have held repeated hearings on legislation to ban vaccine mandates from hospitals, nursing homes, colleges and others. The bill covers vaccinations against preventable infectious diseases beyond COVID-19 like polio, measles, flu and more.

The legislation, House Bill 248, would also stop insurers from mandating, incentivizing or even requesting that those within their risk pool get vaccinated.

The legislature is considering this alongside other, narrower proposals. One would only ban state-operated buildings from requiring proof of vaccination to enter. Another would ban COVID-19 vaccine mandates but exempt health care providers, and it would prohibit businesses from incentivizing vaccination or treating unvaccinated and vaccinated people differently.

All this occurs as the hyper-transmissible delta variant of the coronavirus surges in Ohio; hospitals once again sound the alarm about limited care capacities; and Ohio’s adult vaccination rate of 64%, the 13th lowest by state, sags farther behind the national rate of 74%.


Read the rest of the article here.