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Ohio Republicans and Democrats Say Obamacare's End Could Jeopardize Drug Treatment

John Kasich in New Hampshire

As the fight over the Affordable Care Act takes place in Washington D.C., the consequences are being weighed here in Ohio.
Gov. John Kasich says 700,000 Ohioans have health care now because of Medicaid expansion. It’s unclear whether a repeal of the Affordable Care Act would automatically end that expansion or whether Congress will try to preserve that. But Kasich credits the expansion, which he had to bypass fellow Republicans inthe General Assembly to implement, for helping the state fight what Kasich considers one of its top problems: drug addiction.

“That is the single biggest help to fighting the problem of drugs in this state because the resources are there now to help the local the treatment of mental illness which often times can lead to drug abuse.”

“My colleagues in Congress should listen to John Kasich," says U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat, who is urging lawmakers in Washington to proceed slowly to solve problems with the Affordable Care Act. 

photo of Sherrod Brown
Credit WKSU
Sherrod Brown says many people don't recognize the prescription and other benefits they get via Obamacare.

Brown says many people, including those on Medicare or privately funded health-insurance plans, benefit from the federal health care program with prescription drug assistance, preventative services and more.

“People’s lives have been greatly benefited including those who don’t know the reason they have these extra benefits or this $1,000 savings on prescription drugs if you are on Medicare. They might not know that’s the Affordable Care Act.”

Most Republican lawmakers and President-elect Trump want to get rid of Obamacare, saying it is costing businesses and individuals too much. Many prefer taking out those mandates and making it possible for people to set up health care savings accounts.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment. Jo started her career in Louisville, Kentucky in the mid 80’s when she helped produce a televised presidential debate for ABC News, worked for a creative services company and served as a general assignment report for a commercial radio station. In 1989, she returned back to her native Ohio to work at the WOSU Stations in Columbus where she began a long resume in public radio.