From Marianne (Mansfield / Ohio TPP):
What's Going on with Medicaid Expansion
One Small Step in the Right Direction
Yesterday afternoon a substitute House Bill (HB 59) that removed Medicaid expansion completely from the Governor's proposed budget, was presented to the House Finance and Appropriations Committee.
While this is definitely a step in the right direction, the fight is far from over.
The projected timeline for HB 59 is as follows:
* Hearings will be held all this week
* These hearings will likely produce amendments, which must be submitted by Friday
* Amendments will be taken up in the Finance Committee by next Tuesday, which will likely amend the bill
* The bill will be taken up on the House floor next Thursday
During this hearing process, testimony will be given by persistent proponents of Medicaid expansion, and it is important that our voices are also heard.
Support the Rejection of Medicaid Expansion in HB 59
From 1989 to 2009 Ohio's Medicaid costs increased by 240%. Even without expansion, Medicaid is projected to cost an additional $1/2 billion more in this budget. A further expansion is financially unsustainable.
Ohio's Medicaid program covers parents anywhere from 90 to 96% of the Federal Poverty Level. This extension is directed towards a completely different population - able-bodied adults, most of whom do not have dependents. They will be relatively young (19 - 34 years old) and will be more male than female.
Medicaid patients receive inferior care (if any at all), with the highest risk of death. They are almost twice as likely to die in the hospital while uninsured patients are about 25% less likely than those with Medicaid to die in the hospital.
Hospitals and physicians will have to shift financial burdens carried due to low reimbursement rates, to people carrying private insurance. A study done in 2008 showed that the average family's private health insurance cost $1,800 more due to this cost shift, which is only going to increase.
As private insurance becomes more and more expensive, employers will drop the benefit altogether, or reduce full time employees to part-time, which many companies are already doing. This will throw even more people into the Medicaid program.
Call the Members of the House Finance and Appropriations Committee
Let them know that you support the rejection of Medicaid Expansion in HB 59.