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Tuesday, July 22, 2014
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Published: Saturday, 4/20/2013

MS agency urges Medicaid expansion

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

The Ohio General Assembly should expand Medicaid coverage to adults with family incomes up to 138 percent of federal poverty guidelines in the state budget bill (“Ohio House OKs $61.5B budget plan; Medicaid expansion scrapped from bill,” April 19).

Economically, Medicaid is a good deal for our state.

The cost of Ohio’s 1.5 million uninsured people is absorbed by employers, our health-care infrastructure, and all of Ohio’s citizens.

Reducing the number of uninsured people reduces uncompensated care, which affects employers’ health-insurance premiums.

According to the Ohio Hospital Association, uncompensated care could be reduced by $2.9 billion by 2019 through expanding Medicaid.

Ohioans are already paying for Medicaid expansion through provisions in the Affordable Care Act. Without expansion, we would be paying for a service and not receiving any benefit.

Expanding Medicaid would provide increased coverage access while requiring only limited investment by the state.

The federal government will pay 100 percent of the cost for expanding Medicaid eligibility through 2016, and 90 percent of the cost in 2017 and thereafter.

Medicaid expansion will allow the state to manage costs better.

Uninsured patients often use costly emergency department locations as their primary health-care access points, and delay seeking necessary treatment until their condition requires more-costly treatment.

Given the extensive cuts enacted by the federal and state governments in recent years, Ohio hospitals are faced with scaling back services.

If Medicaid is not expanded, many care facilities will be forced to discontinue services, making it more difficult for patients to receive treatment.

Our state legislators were elected to represent their constituents, who have overwhelmingly expressed support for expansion. They should know that strong grass-roots support exists in our region.

SHARON MOORE

Client Advocate National Multiple Sclerosis SocietyNorthwestern Ohio Chapter

Maumee



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