Health Care Experts and Advocates Outline How DeWine’s Medicaid Proposals Jeopardize The Health And Economic Security of Ohioans, Pit Ohioans Against Each Other
COLUMBUS — Despite calls to clarify his position on Ohio’s Medicaid expansion, Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike DeWine is leaving Ohio voters in the dark regarding his plans to upend the expansion. Instead, DeWine has vaguely alluded to his plans to cut Medicaid and impose harmful and costly work requirements, while remaining scant on specifics.
The DeWine campaign has said that DeWine would convert Medicaid into a block grant program, which would shift the cost burden to the state and inflict deep cuts in eligibility, benefits, and payments made to providers. And because a block grant would force Ohio to contain costs, the state would likely drop the most costly populations from the program — including seniors, the blind, and the disabled.
Similarly, Mike DeWine’s calls to impose Medicaid work requirements would throw thousands of Ohioans off their health insurance and cost county governments hundreds of millions of dollars.
“What we’ve heard from Mike DeWine so far has set off some really big red flags,” said Janetta King, President and CEO of Innovation Ohio, on a press call with reporters Thursday.
King added that DeWine’s plan would create a system of winners and losers that “would have significant consequences on Ohio families and on Ohio’s economy.”
Dr. Kristin Foley, a Columbus-area physician, said, “The Medicaid expansion in Ohio, which brought Medicaid to 700,000 Ohioans, has been incredibly successful.”
Dr. Foley went on to highlight how Ohio’s Medicaid expansion has been critical in addressing Ohio’s opioid epidemic. In Ohio, which has the second highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the nation, Medicaid expansion has helped a half million Ohioans access substance abuse or mental-health treatment.
A recent poll found that the vast majority of voters oppose cutting Medicaid.
“Aside from bad policy, cutting Medicaid is also bad politics,” said Amanda Wurst of Protect Our Care Ohio. “It is clear that this block grant scheme will fundamentally change the current Medicaid program and pit Ohioans against each other. DeWine’s so-called ‘third way’ is nothing more than a talking point to avoid telling voters what he will really do if elected to lead this state.”