Mike DeWine Supports Medicaid for All, but with a Provision

Jul 30, 2018

Attorney General Mike DeWine, speaking at The City Club of Cleveland
Credit ANNIE WU / WCPN

Republican candidate for governor Mike DeWine says he supports Medicaid expansion for all 700,000 Ohioans covered under it, but with work requirements. He says the program must be changed to be financially sustainable. But while those work requirements have strong support from Republican voters, they might not have a huge effect on the overall cost of the program.

The state says 44 percent of Medicaid expansion recipients are working. DeWine’s campaign says it wants the healthy adults in that group to be in the workforce and off government assistance – but doesn’t have cost savings estimates. Former Medicaid director John Corlett supports the expansion, and wonders how work requirements will save money.

“They said roughly 96 percent of Ohioans would be excluded from being affected by those work requirements,” according to Corlett.

That’s about 36,000 people. Ohio Medicaid director Barbara Sears said in a letter that enforcing work requirements could cost $13 million a year, which Corlett says could be more than the state would reap in savings.