ProMedica: Ohioans will be helped


ProMedica agrees with your editorial encouraging Gov. John Kasich to include Medicaid expansion in the 2014-2015 state budget he will present on Feb. 4.

As policy makers meet to consider the budget, the evidence is clear that Medicaid expansion will help Ohio families be healthier and more secure, and will also benefit Ohio’s economy.

Uncompensated care isn’t free. The cost of providing health care for Ohio’s 1.5 million uninsured citizens already is borne by Ohio’s hospitals, employers, and 10 million other residents. Covering more uninsured Ohioans through Medicaid would provide a significant counterbalance to the spiraling costs to families, employers, and hospitals.

A recent study by the Health Policy Institute of Ohio, Ohio State University, and others confirmed that Medicaid expansion will mean health-care coverage for more than 450,000 currently uninsured Ohioans — and will save the state money. In addition, the report indicated that the state would gain $1.4 billion by expanding Medicaid coverage.

Reforming the Medicaid program will have challenges. It will take the collective work of each of us — health-care professionals, lawmakers, and other leaders throughout the state — to help develop a sustainable solution.

However, a responsible Medicaid expansion offers a unique opportunity to receive federal matching funds as well as to create more-rational incentives in our health-care delivery system.

We stand with the Ohio Hospital Association, its 167 hospitals and 19 health systems, and urge the governor and state policy makers to include Medicaid expansion in the 2014-2015 budget.

President and Chief Executive Officer ProMedica Richards Road