Jerry Springer suggests health care plan for Ohio

By Ashley Bunton -

What would Jerry Springer health care look like for Ohioans?

During a Democratic dinner Tuesday in Fayette County, former Cincinnati mayor and TV host Jerry Springer said health care and treatment need to begin in individual communities. He described his idea of what a health care program would look like in Ohio.

Springer briefly discussed a recent Republican health care plan that some say would cut health care coverage for 1.1 million Americans before turning the conversation towards finding a solution.

“I think we gotta start thinking outside the box,” said Springer. “And I started thinking, which is rare…”

He said an idea came to him around the time when the the hurricanes happened and the first responders from Ohio went to help.

“What happens when there’s a tornado or hurricane?” Springer asked the crowd Tuesday at the Democrats’ Annual Fall Dinner at American Legion Post 25 in Washington Court House.

“Everybody pitches in. You go and you help your neighbors. As a community we figure out a way to do it. We don’t sit here and think, well there’s going to be legislation, I’m going to wait, I’m going to have to submit a bill,” Springer said. Instead, he said, “There ought to be a health clinic.”

“There are a lot of rural communities where you don’t even have a hospital in the community, or it’s a long way to go to get to one. What if we had a clinic in every community, within 10 or 15 minutes of everybody’s homes?” Springer asked. “They would be staffed by doctors and nurses.”

And how would he pay for those community health clinics?

“We start out by saying that for any doctor or nurse who wants to practice medicine, we will pay for your schooling if you give us three years in one of our clinics,” said Springer.

He said there are other funds available for such a program: some from Medicaid and some from the state budget. But then?

“And then we create a foundation and make an ‘OHIO’ program — ‘OHIO’ stands for Ohio health insurance organization — I’ll come up with a better name later. But you would get an ‘OHIO’ card and if you are a resident for one year in the state, you can go into any clinic in this area and get primary care. We create this foundation which anyone in the world can contribute to. We raise money for the foundation so that 100 percent of the proceeds stay within the community,” said Springer.

“If we just decide as a community that we want a health clinic in this community, let’s just build one,” said Springer. “Let’s just do it. That’s how we’re goin’ to turn this place around. We can’t wait for something to happen. This is just one issue. We ought to start thinking about that. Not everybody get in their camps, but how can we make life better as a community?”

By Ashley Bunton

Reach Ashley at (740) 313-0355 or connect on Twitter by searching for @ashbunton on

Reach Ashley at (740) 313-0355 or connect on Twitter by searching for @ashbunton on