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 | Ohio Gov. John Kasich announced at a news conference that his budget for Ohio will increase the federally funded Medicaid to an estimated 275,000 citizens. Low-income Ohioans earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level will now qualify for Medicaid. The move by Kasich will have a positive impact on the state and allow the governor more flexibility to improve Ohio's economy.
As a Cleveland school teacher who works in a district that has the area's highest poverty rate, I understand the need to increase Medicaid for the poor. I work with these children on a daily basis and many of their families work but barely make more than the federal poverty level of $32,000. Cleveland has some of the greatest hospitals in the world and now more families can access their services.
The result of expanding Medicaid will also have a positive effect for all working classes in Ohio. With the federal government adding $235 million to Ohio's budget in the next two years to cover medical expenses, it allows governor Kasich to improve our economic situation. One particular area that Kasich highlighted for his budget was a series of tax reductions. In his plan he will lower the rates of all nine brackets for the personal income tax. He has also proposed a small-business tax cut and extended the sales tax reduction.
The Medicaid proposal by Kasich is a turn of events as far as policy introduced by Republican governors. The move to increase Medicaid might influence other Republican governors throughout the United States to change their stance on President Obama's health care policy. In addition, the governor of Ohio will be looked at in a positive light to independent voters and moderate Democrats which could boost his chance for re-election in 2014.
- Politics & Government
- Poverty & Welfare
- John Kasich
- federal poverty level