Health and human services
Posted January 31, 2013 in Press ReleasesTable of contents
Unemployment remains high in Ohio and job quality has declined over the long-term. These two factors mean that many Ohioans cannot meet their basic needs through their work income. This makes a basic safety net essential to reduce poverty, assuage hunger, and ensure health coverage.
The profile of Ohio’s safety net has changed over time. Inflation in the health care system has been much higher than in the economy as a whole over the past generation, and has driven growth in Medicaid expenditures while other human services have been squeezed. (Figure 5)
Inadequate funding in health and human services has deepened over time. In the last budget crucial Medicaid services were continued and some human services were protected at the state level, but other essential services were not adequately funded.
- State support for handling abuse and neglect of the elderly is practically nonexistent. Though counties are mandated to investigate reports of neglect and abuse, the state is budgeting just $366,003 a year for that, an amount that works out to less than $1,000 for some small counties.
- According to the Ohio Association for County Behavioral Health Authorities, non-Medicaid funding for community mental health services has been cut by 70 percent since 2002 and non-Medicaid community addiction services have been cut by 35 percent since 2005. According to Director Cheri Walters: “…as more people are trying to access services, more and more are being put on waiting list, or turned away altogether. Frankly, these cuts are unmanageable and untenable.”
- Ohio was one of just seven states that actually lowered income eligibility for childcare subsidies in 2012. Eligibility for subsidized child care in Ohio fell from $27,408 for a family of three in 2011 to $23,172 in 2012