Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11) today denounced a state budget plan unveiled by Ohio Republican leaders that fails to include Medicaid expansion in Ohio. By refusing to permit expansion of Medicaid, thousands of Ohioans will be denied access to affordable health care and the state of Ohio will forgo an estimated $13 billion in federal aid over the next seven years.
"The decision by statehouse Republicans to deny struggling Ohioans the opportunity to obtain health insurance coverage through Medicaid is cruel and economically reckless," said Congresswoman Fudge.
"According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, an estimated 600,000 people in Ohio and 80,000 people in Cuyahoga County would be eligible by expanding Medicaid eligibility to 138% of the federal poverty level. These individuals are not statistics. They are human beings. Governor Kasich recognized that it was not only possible to provide basic health care coverage for these Ohioans but it would also be economically advantageous to do so. Ohio's legislative leaders came up with excuses that cannot be defended in deciding to cross a governor of their own political party and deny our state billions of dollars in future revenue and potential economic growth. I strongly urge all Ohioans to contact their state legislators and let them know how damaging denial of Medicaid expansion is to our state."
Under provisions of the Affordable Care Act, the federal government absorbs 100% of a state's cost of covering people newly eligible for Medicaid for the first three years. Beyond that period, the federal government pays no less than 90 percent on a permanent basis. With expansion, the Lewin Group estimated state and local governments throughout the nation would realize $101 billion in savings by reductions in uncompensated care through 2019.