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· January 16, 2013

Bringin’ the weak stuff …

A report released yesterday by the Urban Institute Health Policy Center showed that an Obamacare Medicaid expansion in Ohio would provide coverage to 456,000 currently uninsured residents and actually create revenue for the state for the next decade. The Kasich Administration is currently deciding whether it will participate in the Medicaid expansion. In the beginning of an expansion, the federal government would pick up 100 percent of the cost to the state. The federal contribution would scale down over the first few years and settle at a 90 percent cost pick up. The Urban Institute’s work is nonpartisan. As reported by the Plain Dealer, it projects revenue increases in the state based on an increased number of healthcare workers paying taxes and increased tax revenue from managed care providers. The Buckeye Institute, a Columbus-based conservative think tank countered the report’s findings – but not with anything resembling reality or facts:
Greg Lawson, a policy analyst with the conservative Buckeye Institute, said he was concerned that Medicaid may not provide the best care possible to enrollees. In addition, he raised a question about promised funds from the federal (government) remaining, considering the federal debt ceiling debates in Washington. (Plain Dealer)
Uhm, isn’t healthcare – any healthcare – better than no healthcare coverage? How does the debt ceiling have anything to do with the settled law that is the Affordable Care Act? (It doesn’t.) The facts continue to line up on the side of Medicaid expansion being a good thing for states. It’s too bad that Gov. John Kasich hasn’t already agreed to participate, but I’ll take his administration’s word that it’s getting serious consideration and hope that they are simply waiting to make the announcement at budget time. Bringing the weak stuff to such an important decision is just playing politics – for the most part, the politics of Obamacare are over. Let’s make it work for Ohio.

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