Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor celebrated the efforts she and Gov. John Kasich are taking to make Ohio more business friendly during a Greater Medina Chamber of Commerce luncheon Tuesday at Weymouth Country Club in Medina Township.
Taylor was introduced by Mike Baach, owner and CEO of Philpott in Brunswick, who serves on the state’s Small Business Advisory Council and Common Sense Initiative.
Baach said the business community is “blessed” to have Taylor and Kasich as state leaders.
“Leadership starts at the top, and I can tell you that the governor and the lieutenant governor do mean business,” Baach said.
Taylor serves as the head of the Common Sense Initiative, which aims to cut through unnecessary government red tape that impedes economic growth.
“If it doesn’t make sense, if it impacts business, we need to take a look at it,” Taylor said.
Taylor said she took on the role of heading up the Common Sense Initiative the same day she was sworn into office.
She said the goal is simple: Look at ways to make rules and regulations better for Ohio businesses.
Taylor said the initiative recently worked to change rules regarding medical research certificates issued to doctors from other countries visiting the Cleveland Clinic to complete medical research.
Taylor said the previous laws only allowed the doctors to stay for three years. A change in the law in June gave the state more flexibility in allowing research to continue beyond three years.
“Now they can renew their licenses,” she said. “Because these folks come to our state and do research, they’re saving lives.”
Taylor also warned business owners about projected increases in health-care insurance costs as the federal Affordable Care Act goes into effect this year and next.
“All of those things taken together are driving up the cost of health care in Ohio,” she said.
Taylor cited a report released last month by the Society of Actuaries that said insurance premiums will increase by as much as 80 percent on the individual market, putting Ohio at the top of a list of states that will see increases in health care.
“This is not a list we want to be No. 1 on,” she said.
President Barack Obama, who pushed for the health insurance legislation, has questioned the study, arguing it doesn’t take into account credits for individuals and small businesses to help pay for health care under the new law, according to news releases from the White House.
Taylor said Ohio is forced to follow the rules of the new law.
“We are going to try and do the best we can in Ohio despite the rules we have to comply with,” she said.
Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or firstname.lastname@example.org.