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Ohio Joins List of Decent States Expanding Medicaid

Ohio Joins List of Decent States Expanding Medicaid

| On 22, Oct 2013

Ohio Governor John Kasich Medicaid expansion Obamacare Affordable Care Act

(Photo by Ron Sachs / Getty Images)

Ohio is proof positive that some sane and rational decisions can come from states headed by Republican governors.

The state became the 25th (in addition to the District of Columbia) to offer an expansion of Medicaid for low income residents as part of the Affordable Care Act. This will allow an additional 275,000 people to receive insurance under the move.

Gov. John Kasich was at the helm of the move with no real help from his fellow Republicans in the Ohio General Assembly. Kasich supported the idea of the Medicaid expansion earlier this year, but the GOP legislators tried to kill it with no support. On Monday, the Ohio Controlling Board made the final decision by a 5-2 vote pushing forward with the insurance. The board is made up of legislators and one of Kasich’s appointees, according to Reuters

Even if you don’t live in Ohio, pay attention to how this works. Here are a few key points to note about Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act:

  • Every state was offered the opportunity to expand the program to cover more people. Not surprisingly, the 24 states that chose to withhold insurance from their poor are all led by Republican governors.
  • In Ohio (and every other state that accepted expansion), the FULL COST of the program is paid for through 2016. After that, states will have to chip in up to 10 percent of the costs moving forward.
  • If you live in a state that chose NOT to expand the Medicaid program and you make too much money for traditional Medicaid and not enough to afford insurance on the new healthcare exchanges, YOU ARE SCREWED! I hate to put it like that, but it’s true. Here is a list of the states that chose NOT to expand Medicaid.
  • By law, states must balance their budgets. In Ohio’s case, they will save money by offering expanded Medicaid because that is less money that they have to spend to insure residents. Some believe that as non-Medicaid states look for ways to cut costs and voters realize their state isn’t expanding the program, you’ll see more states sign on.
  • Kasich is the eighth Republican governor to expand Medicaid in their state. The other 22 sitting Republican governors opted out. Ohio is the fourth state to expand Medicaid where the GOP controls the both chambers of the state house and the governor’s seat.

So, congrats are in order to The Buckeye State for their move toward a little more fairness in the health insurance market. It’s still sad, however, that nearly half of the states in the union still want to live in the dark as if millions of people with no insurance is ever a good thing.



What do you think about the state-by-state decision whether or not to expand Medicaid? 

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