Ohioans Debate Kasich’s Choice To Expand Medicaid - NBC4: Columbus, Ohio News, Weather, and Sports (WCMH-TV)

Ohioans Debate Kasich’s Choice To Expand Medicaid

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Governor John Kasich's decision to accept federal money to expand Medicaid expansion has launched a debate about whether it is the best thing for the state.
The expansion is part of President Barack Obama's federal health care plan. Under the expansion, 290,000 Ohioans will gain Medicaid coverage. Many are single, lower-income people who may not have qualified in the past as compared to people in the same income bracket with children.
Governor Kasich said it is important to take advantage of the federal funds.
"Extending Medicaid also means that Ohioans will recapture over the next seven years, $13 billion in our money to help those working poor and those searching for jobs to be able to get health care in a constructive way," Kasich said.
Still, Kasich has faced criticism by many including those in the Tea Party who say expanding Medicaid is the wrong choice.
Federal money will cover 100 percent of the expansion for the first three years. After that, Ohioans will pay 10 percent of the costs.
However Brian Rothenberg, Executive Director of ProgressOhio, says most people do not realize that medical costs will begin to substantially drop around the three year mark.
"The higher cost issues are the sicker people. And the people that get sick either by age or by lack of care and preventative care. So over time this is going to really drive down the national deficit," Rothenberg said.
Others, however, say Ohio should have followed Wisconsin's lead and declined the Medicaid expansion.


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