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What Ohio Companies Are Saying About Passing Bill 218, Mandatory Vaccine Ban

Ohio is one of the most regulated states in the country.

These regulations were set for Ohio businesses by our government, and if overdone, they prevent businesses from making the decisions necessary for their organizations to be successful – and too much regulation stunts economic growth and competitiveness.

Pat Tiberi, CEO of the Ohio Business Roundtable.

Our legislative leaders at the Statehouse are well aware of excessive regulation and the negative impact it has on our economy. Economic growth is crucial to attracting investment, creating jobs, and sustaining the American Dream of Ohio families.

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Without this continued growth, we are falling behind our peer states, as evidenced by Ohio which lost a congressional district in the recent census.

However, Ohio came out of the pandemic with force and our businesses are growing. But if House Bill 218 passes, that momentum will be slowed as our state signals to businesses that we are breaking our commitment to reduce regulations.

House Bill 218 ties the hands of businesses when it comes to the immunization status of their employees. It waives any vaccination requirements that a business or organization might institute by forcing companies to provide a loophole for all employees to opt out of the vaccine.

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To be clear, the commercial vaccine mandate proposed by the Biden administration is an equal example of government overshoot. Although it adopts the opposite political side like House Bill 218 through general warrants, the two are equivalent and unwarranted intrusions of the free market.

Businesses of all sizes and in all industries in all corners of our state have suffered huge losses from the spread of COVID-19. They were forced to make heartbreaking choices to balance protecting lives and livelihoods, while also hoping and praying for a vaccine so they could put the nightmare behind them and focus on the better days ahead.

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The brightest days are here.

But two issues plague businesses: a labor shortage and supply chain failures.

For companies facing a labor shortage, implementing a vaccination mandate would likely not be beneficial to them, as they seek qualified candidates solely on the basis of their skill level. Still, for other companies trying to meet supply chain demands, a vaccine requirement might be something better suited for their organizations to avoid outbreaks and exposure quarantines that disrupt productivity.

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Insurance premiums should also be taken into account in the employer’s decision. We know the virus is much worse for unvaccinated people, and 97% of hospitalizations in the state are those who did not take the vaccine. For people requiring hospital treatment, the average cost is almost $ 42,000 per person.

This expense is passed on to the employer and eventually to other employees who participate in the company’s health care plan. Businesses need to be able to control their healthcare costs and offer affordable bonuses to their workforce rather than having to foot the bill for treatment that could have been avoided with a vaccine.

Ultimately, companies must weigh the consequences and benefits of vaccine requirements and make the final decision themselves. A single mandate will not work, and binding regulations must end.

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With the help of science, technology and data, we have come a long way since March 2020.

Let’s give businesses the freedom to make the informed choice to do what’s best for their employees and customers. Ultimately, the free market will dictate whether they made the right decision.

Pat Tiberi is the president and CEO of the Ohio Business Roundtable and a former congressman. The Ohio Business Roundtable is an organization of nearly 100 presidents and CEOs of top Ohio companies statewide.