Third federal coronavirus bill must boost funding for Medicaid, child care
Posted March 24, 2020 in Press Releases
The sweep of the COVID-19 pandemic is hitting Ohioans hard. Last week 139,000 filed for unemployment, up from 6,500 the week before. Hundreds of thousands more face the loss of income and health care. Just as Ohioans are turning in record numbers to the critical services our taxes pay for, Governor Mike DeWine has asked all members of his cabinet to find ways to cut 20% of their budgets.
Today, Policy Matters released two separate pieces of analysis showing why Congress should pass a third stimulus package that provides states with increased funding for both Medicaid and child care. Senior Project Director Wendy Patton made the following statement:
“Last week, Congress enacted the ‘Families First Coronavirus Response Act,’ which provided for paid sick days and family leave for some but not all working people. They appropriated funds for Medicaid and food aid. These are good first steps, but Ohioans will need much more.
“During the 2008 recession, Congress provided states with increased Medicaid funding to extend health coverage to people who lost their jobs and workers who were paid low wages. The Medicaid boost also helped plug holes in state budgets and helped support jobs in health care. This time, as state revenues plummet more dramatically and more people need health care, Congress must act more boldly.
“Congress should include increased support for child care in the next stimulus package. Child care is the backbone of our nation’s economy and it is critical for the security of families across the country. $50 billion is needed to help child care providers stay afloat, ensure child care providers who stay open can maintain a safe environment, and ensure essential workers have access to child care during the crisis.
“Governor DeWine says faced with a looming recession, he must make cuts. That’s the wrong approach. First, the state should call on the federal government to marshal resources to support state budgets. If the federal government doesn’t rise to the occasion, state policymakers should look first to scrapping tax breaks, like the $1 billion LLC loophole or rolling back tax cuts for Ohio’s wealthiest residents. The public needs public services more than ever.”