ISSUE: MEDICAID: why it’s important in Ohio, 6/1

June 01, 2013

Ohio must expand Medicaid. Without Medicaid expansion, thousands of Ohioans with incomes up to 100 percent of the Federal Poverty Level ($23,550 for a family of four) will be left with no subsidized health insurance assistance. The Ohio Medicaid Expansion Study predicts that by 2017, 370,000 adults without dependent children will have no access to subsidized insurance and will most likely be uninsured. Ohio legislators must support Medicaid expansion.

Medicaid Makes Business Sense

Not only is Medicaid expansion the right thing to do morally, it makes good business sense. Businesses worry about the future and whether or not rising health care costs will affect their ability to hire, raise wages, or at a minimum maintain current staffing levels. Hospitals provide free or “charity” care to uninsured patients, but the cost of doing so is shifted to businesses. Thus, businesses and individuals pay an inflated rate for healthcare insurance premiums. If Ohio expands Medicaid the expansion will help reduce the inflation of healthcare premium costs.

Additionally, Medicaid expansion allows employees of small businesses that currently have no health insurance because their employers can’t afford it, to be covered. Ohio’s economic health is reflective of the health of our community. Healthy workers are productive and engaged, building into our local economies helping them thrive.

Hospitals & Medicaid

Medicaid expansion is important to our hospital partners who currently provide services for significant numbers of Medicaid patients and millions of dollars annually in charity care for uninsured low income persons. More insured persons will not only benefit hospitals, but also every person that has insurance that ends up with part of the cost for the un insured in their prices. Covering additional low income individuals under Medicaid will allow them to receive timely primary and preventive care which will help reduce emergency department visits, the most expensive medical care. Again, expanding Medicaid makes financial sense for everyone.

Healthcare is a fundamental right for everyone.

Medicaid expansion will improve individual and community health, reduce business costs, reduce uncompensated care costs for hospitals, and reduce overall health care costs. Therefore, The Center For Closing The Health Gap supports Medicaid expansion for Ohio. Please contact your Ohio House Representative and Senator and urge them vote for Medicaid expansion.

The Center for Closing the Health Gap in Greater Cincinnati is dedicated to helping you and your family become healthier.

Dwight Tillery, Health Gap CEO

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