The office of State Senator Charleta Tavares recently provided OPHA with an initial draft of its Health and Equity in All Policies (HEiAP) legislative language. The draft bill is a major step in OPHA’s efforts to serve as a catalyst for change in improving the health outcomes of all Ohioans.
“This is an exciting development,” said Robert Jennings, chair of OPHA’s standing HEiAP committee. “To see all of the hard work of our committee finally coming to fruition is extremely gratifying.” Like Ohio’s Common Sense Initiative, which currently requires all proposed administrative rules to be reviewed to determine its impact on businesses in the State of Ohio, OPHA’s HEiAP legislative initiative seeks to create a standardized, systematic review process for determining the potential impact of proposed legislation on the health of Ohioans.
By doing so, the HEiAP initiative would help lawmakers identify those populations most susceptible to unfavorable health outcomes of any proposed legislation. Further, the review would allow legislators to consider how proposed bills would impact not just the population’s health directly, but also consider the impact of more indirect social determinants which also influence health, such as air quality, access to public transportation, social services, education and medical care.
OPHA sincerely believes that this could be one of the most important Public Health policies to have been considered in Ohio in many years. And, if enacted, could be a significant factor in turning around both our poor health status and the inequities that exist among our citizens. Comments and edits to the bill language will now go back to the Ohio Legislative Services Commission (LSC) as it prepares the final draft. See below an extract of the proposed bill and feel free to share it with others.