The Ohio General Assembly has entered the final phase of deciding on the state budget for the next two years-and will likely finalize the budget by
Monday, June 26
. The current version of the budget includes language that would freeze Medicaid expansion enrollment (known officially as Group VIII enrollment) starting July 1, 2018. Under this language, once you are ineligible for enrollment under expansion for any reason you can no longer re-enroll under expansion.
We believe this may lead to over half of the current enrollees losing coverage in just the first year.
The legislature has also included requirements that only those working, in school, over 55 years old, in a treatment program, or with a severe mental or physical illness will be able to keep coverage starting in 2017. This language, commonly referred to as a "work requirement" means that someone looking for a job, or waiting for a spot to open up in a treatment program, will lose their health care entirely.
Individually, these provisions are harmful, but together they are lethal. Please raise your voice for the hundreds of thousands of Ohioans who currently rely on the extended Medicaid coverage so that they can continue to take care of their basic health needs, chronic physical and mental health diagnoses and/or stay on a path to recovery from drug and alcohol addictions.
The budget process will be finalized in the next few days, so it is critical to take action immediately. Contact your local legislator, as well as legislative leaders, to remind them of the value of Medicaid and to tell them these changes are unacceptable. On behalf of the hundreds and thousands of vulnerable Ohioans' whose healthcare and livelihood are at risk,
please reach out now and let your voice be heard!
Find your legislator and their contact information
, and reach out to members of the budget conference committee:
Sen. Scott Oelslager (R-North Canton) - Phone: (614) 466-0626
Sen. Gayle Manning (R-North Ridgeville) - Phone: (614) 644-7613
Sen. Mike Skindell (D-Lakewood) - Phone: (614) 466-5123
Rep. Ryan Smith (R-Gallipolis) - Phone: (614) 466-1366
Rep. Scott Ryan (R-Newark) - Phone: (614) 466-1482
Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) - Phone: (614) 466-3735
Thank you for taking action.
LWVO Advocacy Team in partnership with healthcare coalition partners and the Ohio Association of Community Health Centers