On Monday, Ohio Gov. John Kasich announced he will expand the state's Medicaid program with federal dollars, much to the chagrin of conservatives who had hoped he would have rebuffed a portion of Obamacare. Yahoo News asked Ohioans to react. Here's one perspective.
COMMENTARY | John Kasich has devised a grand plan to cut taxes and increase Medicaid spending in the Buckeye State. At least that's what he says. As a long-time resident of Ohio, I don't see how that equation will add up, but I am hoping the math wizards in Columbus will find a way to at least honor half of that promise, and that is to increase Medicaid benefits.
Medicaid.gov states that Medicaid was enacted as a health and long-term care coverage program jointly financed by states and the federal government. Each state establishes and administers its own Medicaid program and determines the type, amount, duration, and scope of services covered within broad federal guidelines. States must cover certain mandatory benefits and may choose to provide other optional benefits.
As a daughter of someone who relied on Medicare and Medicaid to survive, I know how difficult it is for the elderly to make ends meet when facing the inevitability of escalating medical care and ultimately nursing home residency. I know how difficult it was to find a nursing facility that would accept a Medicare-Medicaid patient.
I recall the sadness and confusion on my mother's face when a nursing director said right in front of her, "We only have so many Medicare-Medicaid beds to go around." I recall my blind mother in a wheelchair asking me, "What is she saying? What is the difference? I don't understand."
Federal law also requires states to cover certain mandatory eligibility groups, including qualified parents, children, and pregnant women with low income, as well as older adults and people with disabilities with low income. It's the right thing to do.
Maybe now, with Gov. Kasich stepping up to the plate and promising more funds for Medicaid recipients, things will change for the elderly and the young who need financial help to survive. Maybe the change will start today. I don't know what magic he has up his sleeve to make it all happen, but I support this measure. I applaud it.
- Health Care Policy
- John Kasich