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Voices in Ohio: Let’s Keep Medicaid Discussion Alive

PHOTO: Despite the failure of the Ohio House to move forward with Medicaid expansion, supporters are optimistic state leaders will keep the discussion alive.
PHOTO: Despite the failure of the Ohio House to move forward with Medicaid expansion, supporters are optimistic state leaders will keep the discussion alive.
April 23, 2013

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohioans from all walks of life are speaking out in favor of the expansion of Medicaid, and many are featured in a new video urging such action. While lawmakers in the Ohio House did not act on the plans of Gov. John Kasich to expand Medicaid, they sent their budget bill to the Senate with an amendment requiring the exploration of new Medicaid reform options in the fall.

According to community health dentist Kris Drummond of Akron, it's critical to keep this discussion alive.

"This expansion is necessary for our future sustainability," she declared. "It makes financial sense, as well as ethical, humane sense to pass Medicaid expansion."

The video was shot at a rally at the Statehouse and was sent to more than 75 individuals and groups, including hospitals, faith communities, and charities, as well as Ohio legislators.

The expansion proposed by the governor would have extended coverage to 275,000 low-income Ohioans and brought in $13 billion in federal money over seven years.

Opponents voiced concerns over future federal spending, but Nicholas Larson of Lima stated that this is about more than money.

"The expansion is more about the overall health of society than just numbers. When you just look at people as numbers you're just de-personalizing them into dollar signs. That's a problem," he declared.

Meanwhile, preliminary discussions are under way to put forth a ballot issue to give citizens the chance to vote on expanding Medicaid, should it not be approved through the legislative process.

The video can be found at YouTube.com.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH