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.

Meaden & Moore


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
Ohio


Leaders discuss two sides of Ohio's Medicaid expansion debate
Jon Allison and Robert Alt discuss funds and employment requirements under Medicaid
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE BUREAU CHIEF KAREN KASLER


Reporter
Karen Kasler
 
Courtesy of Images of Money
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

A coalition of Medicaid supporters has started its petition drive to put the issue before voters if lawmakers don’t expand the program to 275,000 low-income Ohioans as Gov. John Kasich had proposed in his original budget.

Ohio Public Radio’s Karen Kasler sat down with two activists staking out opposing positions in the Medicaid expansion debate.

LISTEN: Karen Kasler reports on Medicaid expansion (Extended)

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:29)


Medicaid expansion supporters have been battling arguments against it for months. One of the main debates is over the $13 billion in federal dollars that they say Ohio could capture over seven years if expansion were in place by Jan. 1.

Jon Allison is the former chief of staff for Republican Gov. Bob Taft. He is now leading a coalition, Healthy Ohioans Work, of supporters in a petition drive to put expansion before voters if state lawmakers don’t approve it. Allison says he understands conservatives who oppose expansion would rather have the state develop its own program to cover the hundreds of thousands of people who could be covered by Medicaid, but he says the reality doesn’t make sense. 

“When Ohio taxpayers, Ohio businesses are on the hook to pay federal fees and taxes to pay for the Affordable Care Act, the thought that we would leave those dollars on the table (and) instead use state tax dollars – I don’t know how I could sell that to the General Assembly.”

Conservatives say there is no table
Robert Alt is the president of the conservative think tank the Buckeye Institute. He's written several position papers on why he thinks Medicaid expansion is a bad idea. And he says the idea that money will be left on the table is an often-repeated fallacy. 

“It’s a matching funds program. There are no funds left on the table. If we don’t expand Medicaid, those funds never get spent -- or quite frankly, they never get borrowed from China. It’s not that they go to California. They just don’t exist.”

Who deserves coverage?
There’s also a concern over who actually would benefit from Medicaid expansion. Alt says it would cover mostly able-bodied men. 

“I find the name of your organization interesting – it’s Healthy Ohioans Work. Well, part of the problem that legislators are confronting is, if we expand Medicaid, we’re not allowed to put work requirements on there. And studies have shown that if we put more people on Medicaid, it will actually take people who are currently working and encourage them not to work.”

Alt says a state-created program would allow Ohio to establish work requirements for people enrolled in it – something that Medicaid won’t permit.

But  Allison says there are discussions of ways to include workforce development in Medicaid expansion. He also says Alt’s conclusion is far-fetched. 

“Respectfully, to paint this as a solution which would essentially incentivize a bunch of under-employed single adults to give up on trying to work and earn a living goes a little too far. I mean, the flip side of that is we have unemployed single adults who would benefit from this, many of whom have health issues that they’re dealing with.”

The voters may decide if lawmakers won't
Allison says the Healthy Ohioans Work coalition, which includes unions, religious, social services and community organizations, and hospitals and business groups, has until late December to gather voter signatures on its petitions. It plans to push ahead with its ballot issue if lawmakers don't act on Medicaid expansion by the end of the year.

Alt says he doesn’t think the coalition is as monolithic as Allison suggests, and that hospitals who would profit from the expansion are the main ones pushing it.  

Here's this week's "State of Ohio" televised panel with Karen Kasler, featuring Allison and Alt.
http://statenews.org/feature_page.cfm?featureID=1 

(Click image for larger view.)

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

Bridgestone exec indictments are latest step in a billion-dollar price-fixing case
Why is O.P.E.C Not investigated and charges brought against it and it's member companies? It sounds exactly the same...

Ohio's new drilling rules rely on known earthquake faults
requiring drillers to place seismic monitors when they drill within 3 miles of known fault lines. This comment really upsets me!! What good does an instrument t...

Kasich's gubernatorial ad focuses on his blue-collar roots
John Kasich is the biggest con-man in America. He will say one thing and then do the opposite. He is terribly successful at fooling the public and he is worki...

Cab drivers who refuse to drive Gay Games taxis will be replaced
the irony is that most americans distrust or hate muslims much more than they hate gays!! silly ignorant bigots-GO HOME!!!

New transportation companies come to Cleveland
Ride-sharing companies are breaking laws and regulations every day. From regulatory fee evasion to use of smartphone while driving (and even two smartphones(!) ...

Cleveland anti-poverty agency executive resigns amid financial probe
That committee won't be too independent. He plans to stay on until after the new appointee is chosen.

How can you wipe a criminal record clean?
Great article! NO CLINIC in May 2014, however, because it's graduation month for students For the next dates of the FREE Legal Clinic to help with Expungment,...

Drilling remains suspended while ODNR investigates NE Ohio earthquakes
Flaring and lights, so has all been halted? Also, smell of HS2 and sounds of an auger/drilling/water rushing underground. So, has all been halted? In light of t...

Will the Ohio River carry fracking wastewater?
Texas $ vs. WV citizens . Who will our governor listen to?

Copyright © 2014 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