Another Battle is Brewing Over Ohio's Medicaid Expansion

In a sign of the upcoming political fight, the Columbus Metropolitan Club hosted a Medicaid  panel expansion this month.
In a sign of the upcoming political fight, the Columbus Metropolitan Club hosted a Medicaid panel expansion this month.

University Hospitals' Chief Executive Tom Zenty is worried.

As of "July of next year, if there is no intervention, Medicaid expansion in the state of Ohio disappears," Zenty says.

Speaking at the recent Crain's Health Care Forum in Cleveland, Zenty went on to warn that hundreds of thousands of poor adults in Ohio could lose health coverage in less than 12 months.

Reversing the state's Medicaid expansion is the plan, says Rea Hederman Jr., chief operating officer at the conservative Buckeye Institute.

"We are very much against continuing Medicaid expansion," Hederman says. "We think that there is a better way to offer care to these people."

Hederman says Ohio should drop expansion and possibly provide coverage in a different way. Perhaps, like Indiana, which attaches extra requirements for people enrolled in the program.

Medicaid is up in the air because Governor Kasich never won approval from the full state legislature to expand it. The action he took to get around opponents was only a temporary solution.

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