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House GOP: Ohio Can’t Afford Medicaid Without Significant Strides

Lawmakers Urge Swift Discussion on Statewide Program to Better Fit Federal Mandate

COLUMBUS—The recently passed federal health care reform act, which includes an expansion of Medicaid, will leave Ohio unable to afford the new requirements unless a bipartisan solution is enacted, according to State Representative Dave Burke (R-Marysville). Burke and other House Republican members have championed various legislative reform measures.

“Health care access and coverage is a concern our caucus shares with many families across Ohio and the nation,” said Rep. Burke. “Our state needs to rein in spending, realign our priorities to control rampant unemployment, and address the issue of health care access and coverage. I would like to see swift action seeking statewide input for health plans in managing, evaluating and improving care systems, and serving Ohioans in the most efficient and effective manner.”

The statement comes a day after the Congressional Budget Office released a new estimate[1] that the health care overhaul will likely cost more than $1 trillion over the first ten years.

When enacted, a statewide managed care program may illustrate mandatory participation for most, voluntary participation for some, and excluded participation for other populations throughout the pool of participants or, in this case, Ohioans. Additionally, a statewide program will be able to better identify varying models of care and risk-adjusted payment methods.

“The fact remains that without immediate discussions and strides toward custom-fitting the Washington directive, Ohio’s economic turmoil will plague our state for the foreseeable future. Our state simply does not have the money to expand Medicaid overnight. Since America has been written a prescription for $1 trillion dollars in new spending, I urge my legislative colleagues to collaborate and pursue this first step in beginning to implement health care reform,” said Rep. Burke.

Late last month, it was reported that Ohio’s unemployment had seen nearly 12 consecutive months of double-digit unemployment and partisan-pointed discussions have led the House chamber away from measures, such as those relating to Medicaid fixes. House Republicans remain hopeful that the House majority will give this discussion due consideration prior to summer recess.