News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Hennes Paynter Communications

Wayside Furniture

Levin Furniture


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Government and Politics


Ohio senators introduce a new Medicaid bill that falls short of expansion
Lawmakers say the bipartisan bill will make needed reforms to health insurance for poor people
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE BUREAU CHIEF KAREN KASLER


Reporter
Karen Kasler
 
Rep. Ohio State Sen. Dave Burke co-sponsored the Medicaid reform bill
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

As advocates for Medicaid expansion continue to hope lawmakers will consider it, legislators from both parties have introduced a bill that they say will reform the government insurance program for low-income people.

LISTEN: KASLER ON MEDICAID

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:17)


Lawmakers behind the bill say it will measure health outcomes, it will integrate workforce development to help people out of poverty, and it will control costs by requiring lawmakers and the governor to make sure Medicaid does not grow faster than certain benchmarks.

Republican Sen. Dave Burke of Marysville says it deals with a problem that the state has been wrestling with for three decades.

“Regardless of the Affordable Care Act or President Obama or whatever fear people have, ..., covering the working poor in the state of Ohio has been an issue for a long time, and it has not been affordable to do so,“ Burke says.

Dem. State Sen. Capri Cafaro also co-sponsored the bipartisan bill.The bill’s other sponsor is Democratic Sen. Capri Cafaro, from Hubbard, near Youngstown.

“This is a very important signal that we are working in a bipartisan, bicameral way toward serious reforms," Cafaro says. "And if we are going to take on new beneficiaries into the program, we want to make sure it’s the best program available.”

But no expansion
There, Cafaro hints at what the bill does not do. It does not expand Medicaid to some 300,000 low-income Ohioans. That is what Gov. John Kasich had wanted, and it would happen under a bill introduced in the House by Republican Rep. Barbara Sears of Sylvania.

Gov. John Kasich says Medicaid does not just need reforms, but also needs expansion.The bill that has no cosponsors, in part because there are serious concerns about Medicaid expansion among Republicans who dominate the Legislature. But a measure similar to it will be introduced in the House by Republican Ron Amstutz of Wooster and Democrat Vernon Sykes of Akron, the top names on the House Finance Committee.

Col Owens co-chairs Ohio Consumers for Health Coverage, a group that has been pushing for Medicaid expansion, and says it appears this is the Medicaid approach for now.

“It’s a more complicated process than we would have preferred, but we understand that we are dealing here in a bipartisan world and with a very broad array of concerns," Owens says. "We’re still hopeful that this can be done by June 30.”

Time is critical
June 30 is a critical deadline, Owens says, because the state needs six months to get Medicaid expansion moving to capitalize on the billions of federal dollars that could come to Ohio.

“Every day that we don’t do Medicaid expansion, we would be losing something like $1.4 million of federal money as we (would) delay beyond Jan.1” to implement, Owens says.

But Cafaro and Burke say the legislative process cannot be rushed.

“I certainly don’t think we’re going to lose," Cafaro says. "This is again a signal that we are working together towards a solution."

Owens and other activists continue to push for Medicaid expansion as a win for low-income Ohioans, for health care providers, for employers and the state’s economy. 

But  a new report from the conservative think-tank Opportunity Ohio and a Florida-based group called the Foundation for Government Accountability, which is critical of Medicaid expansion, asks lawmakers to reject expansion because it says the system is rife with waste, fraud and abuse. It also argues the system does not help people get healthier and would ultimately cost the state billions. But a study by the Health Policy Institute released in April says not expanding Medicaid will cost the state, the health care system and hundreds of thousands of Ohioans.

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Ohio politicians rally against Planned Parenthood
The baby cries out....I am a person too! ... at least do not sell my heart. In an abortion there are three parties involved...the mother, the father and the ch...

Ohio lawmakers propose grants for home construction for disabled people
We have been trying to have a "Visitability Bill" passed for years. Thanks, Greg

Lake County crimes may give Trump immigration fodder
Shoddy reporting at best. "Mixed views" The question that came to my mind was, "How many people did he have to interview to get "mixed views". Do the two peo...

Ohio's U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown announces plans to improve Medicare by lowering prescription costs for seniors
Sounds good. I'm living in Florida to escape the snow. So far it's working. I retired from GM in 2000. Keep pushing for all the working people. In the long run ...

The tiny town that time, and elections, forgot may go out of existence
Thank you for this story. I grew up in Limaville, my parents home is there still...unsellable due to the septic/sewer problem. Sometimes I am sorry I left...wis...

Where Ohio'sJohn Kasich stands in the presidential polls
We are fans of Gov. Kasich since he served in the House of Representatives. It pleases us to finally see him as the potential President of the United States. We...

Cleveland hosts the first national Movement for Black Lives conference
What a wonderful experience this was, So much love and understanding, without all of the other distractions that tend to come with organizing for change, this e...

Air Force unit gets training and Youngstown gets rid of some eyesores
Do they have to totally destroy all the beautiful oak and leaded windows, which I am thinking are probably there? Do they just have to destroy them like that? C...

Jewish challah and Native American fry bread at an Akron cultural exchange
Each time I saw the young students relate to each other, I got goose bumps. These young students can and hopefully will teach all of us to live and respect eac...

One of the Cleveland Orchestra's most celebrated musicians bids farewell
I had the honor of studying with Franklin Cohen in the late 80s and early 90s. He is unparalleled both as a clarinetist and as a musician. His deep personal war...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University