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Task Force On Lowering Ohio's High Infant Mortality Rate Has Ideas That Could Prove Controversial

Sen. Shannon Jones (R-Springboro) is a co-chair of the Ohio Commission on Infant Mortality.
Sen. Shannon Jones (R-Springboro) is a co-chair of the Ohio Commission on Infant Mortality.

Ohio’s infant mortality rate is one of the worst in the nation. A task force that’s been looking at how to improve that has released a list of 56 recommendations, that that list includes a few that might be problematic to some conservative state lawmakers.

Among the recommendations – boosting funds to health programs, allowing pharmacists to administer injectable birth control, banning the sale of crib bumpers, and hiking the tax on cigarettes. Sen. Shannon Jones (R-Springboro) said the proposed tax hike comes from Gov. John Kasich’s budget last year, which showed a $600 cost per Medicaid recipient was related to smoking. “So if we can deal with the smoking issue, there is nothing that would have a more dramatic impact on the costs of Medicaid,” Jones said.

The recommendations also include banning the sale of tobacco products to anyone under 21.  Ohio’s infant mortality rate has been ranked as one of the worst in the nation, with only two states coming in behind Ohio in terms of deaths of African American babies and Hispanic babies.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.