- Congressman Latta (District 5) – (202) 225-6405
- Congressman Johnson (District 6) – (202) 225-5705
- Congressman Tiberi (District 12) – (202) 225-5355
- Congressman Renacci (District 16) – (202) 225-3876
Questions for administration officials
- What steps has the administration taken to work with Ohio’s Congressional delegation and federal officials to convey the urgency for Ohio’s budget, and the need to preserve coverage for 700,000 Ohioans?
- If federal support for expanded Medicaid coverage is reduced or eliminated in repeal efforts, would Ohio cut benefits or eligibility for Medicaid as a result? If so, how?
- If you believe that Medicaid expansion is a net positive for the state, will the administration seek a repeal of the proposed tax cuts in this budget in order to make up for the shortfall? What other backup plans are in place to address the risk from ACA repeal to a balanced budget?
- Ohio hospitals could lose as much as $15 billion by 2028, if the ACA is repealed (Policy Matters estimate) and Ohio’s uninsured rate begins to climb. Are Ohio hospitals at risk of closing if the ACA is repealed? Which ones?
What’s Next?Want to do your part to advocate for budget policies that actually help? Here are a few things you can do today: Read the budget materials released by the administration. Watch testimony by administration Medicaid officials, tomorrow at 9am on OhioChannel.org. Call the office of House Finance Committee Chair Ryan Smith at (614) 466-1366 and ask to get email notices when Finance committee hearings are scheduled. Contact your State Representative and let them know that preserving health coverage is more important than another income tax cut that mainly helps the rich. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
Kasich is off base on paid parental leave Governor Kasich has yet again shown that he is out of step with the needs of working families and wrong on the facts. When asked about paid time off for new parents (“Paid leave hurts equal pay: Kasich,” January 9), Kasich argued that new mothers might fall behind in their careers, exacerbating the income gap between women and men as justification for opposing paid parental leave. His argument is both wrong and wrongheaded. Studies show women who take paid time off after having a baby actually earn higher incomes in future years than women who do not. That’s because paid leave allows working moms to stay in their job and continue to advance in their careers. However, when paid leave isn’t offered, mothers can be forced to choose between caring for their newborn and continuing to earn their paycheck. When faced with this choice, many women drop out of the work force, which means that when they resume their careers they do so with less experience and ultimately lower pay. Further, paid parental leave shouldn’t be just for moms. In other countries, paid leave for new fathers is provided as a way to narrow the wage gap. That is, when dads leave work to care for a new child, their partners can return to work sooner, and continue advancing in their careers. And men who take parental leave are more likely to share caregiving responsibilities throughout a child’s life, giving their partners freedom to more actively pursue their careers. And no one is arguing for an employer mandate, as Gov. Kasich suggested. Proposals currently pending in Congress would follow the lead of four states that already allow workers to pay into a universal insurance pool that provides partial wage replacement during caregiving leaves. These proposals can actually save employers money. Finally, Kasich’s suggestion that new moms should telecommute ignores both the need for bonding time and the workplace realities of many women. Babies whose moms (or dads) are chained to a computer and telephone all day miss out on those critical benefits. And for the disproportionate share of service, retail and other low-wage workers who are women, telecommuting is not an option. Terra Goodnight Policy Director, Innovation Ohio
Women may not be getting the health coverage they were guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act, according to a new report by by the National Women’s Law Center, and the Obama administration has warned carriers that the practice must stop. The April report outlined numerous violations by insurers in 15 states, including Ohio, which included excluding dependents from maternity care, limits on breastfeeding services and a failure to provide preventive services and contraception without co-pays or deductibles. Late last month, I joined a panel on Capitol Hill to discuss Innovation Ohio’s partnership with NWLC to address shortcomings in plans offered in Ohio in 2014. Our work led to multiple plans modifying their policies for 2015, but the report found that, despite our work, many violations of the law can still be found in policies sold on the Ohio exchange. The Ohio Department of Insurance, the state agency charged with reviewing and certifying plans for sale on the health exchange and that is headed by Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor, was notified of the violations but did not respond. The report was covered by the New York Times, National Public Radio and the Wall Street Journal (subscription required). Following the report’s release, the Obama administration has issued new guidance to insurance carriers that they must cover all FDA-approved forms of contraception without co-pays or deductibles and provide other preventive services to women without cost-sharing. A report on the coverage of women’s health services by Ohio insurers, including the results of a second review of plans offered in 2015, will be released in the coming weeks.