June 29, 2017
June 29, 2017
Requesting he veto attacks on Medicaid expansion in the 2018-2019 budget
Governor John Kasich
Riffe Center, 30th Floor
77 South High Street
Columbus, OH 43215-6117
Dear Governor Kasich,
Policy Matters Ohio is a non-partisan, not-for-profit research organization with a mission of contributing to a more prosperous, equitable and inclusive Ohio. We are grateful for your incredible leadership to protect Medicaid at the state and federal level. We respectfully request that you use your line-item veto authority on the following provisions on Medicaid expansion in the budget bill for 2018-19 passed by the General Assembly:
Section 5163.15, freezing enrollment of the Group VIII population on July 1, 2018, should be removed in its entirety. This section freezes enrollment of the Group VIII population on July 1, 2018. This would cause a significant majority of enrollees to lose coverage and discourage enrollees from finding or increasing employment due to fear of losing coverage. Reducing eligibility when the state is facing a catastrophic opiate crisis is short-sighted and would hurt Ohio families. Finally, this language appears to be in conflict with federal law and could face a costly legal challenge.
Section 5133.37 implementing work requirements should be removed in its entirety. This section requires people enrolled in Medicaid expansion to be working or in school. Good health is a precursor to productive work and study. Access to health care should not be linked to employment. Research on work requirements in assistance programs has found them to be ineffective in helping people secure long-term employment or poverty-escaping wages.
Language in section 333.34 delegating authorization of Medicaid funding to the Controlling Board should be struck. The current provisions placing approval of the state match of Medicaid funds in the hands of the Controlling Board places providers and patients in a position of uncertainty.
Section 333.273 should be struck in its entirety. The Healthy Ohio program was previously submitted and rejected by CMS. It was actively opposed by a thousand Ohioans, who wrote or testified about their objections at hearings during the application process. Ohio should not waste resources by resubmitting a previously rejected plan opposed by so many Ohioans.
Individually, each provision is problematic and impedes access to health care. Together, these provisions will remove access for hundreds of thousands of Ohioans who need it for basic health care, chronic physical and mental health diagnoses, and to treat addiction.
We recognize your personal leadership in bringing Medicaid expansion to Ohio in 2013. Your efforts mean more than 700,000 Ohioans receive care and treatment they need to combat physical and mental illnesses. We appreciate your continued leadership.
Amy Hanauer, Executive Director
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