Americans have traditionally looked to the federal government for relief from Obamacare. However, some states are fed up with the program and are already on the move to dismantle the crumbling healthcare program.
One such state is Ohio. The Ohio Senate froze enrollment in the state’s burgeoning Obamacare expansion as part of its budget for 2018, bypassing Congress and taking measures into their own hands. (via The Hill)
As the first state to do so, Ohio is setting an example for the rest of the nation. Many state legislatures across the country are already discussing how to roll back the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a more efficient — and, ironically, affordable — alternative.
Like many states, Ohio’s Obamacare expansion has been increasing, with the Kasich administration promising the program would not exceed 447,000 applicants. In reality, there were over 725,000 last month, and the number continues to rise.
Ohio’s Obamacare budget surpassed $7 billion annually, over twice what it was estimated to be, and now that Obamacare’s “free ride” has ended, and states have started paying five percent of the expansion costs, they are beginning to feel the burden.
What is most concerning is that many people who are truly vulnerable and in need have been forced to wait for services, while many of those currently on Medicaid are able-bodied, childless adults.
“In Ohio, we currently have nearly 60,000 people who qualify for traditional Medicaid that are currently on a waiting list to receive services. These are children and adults with developmental disabilities who need anything from specialized medical equipment to assist them with their daily lives to therapeutic intervention, to at-home medical services,” wrote Wes Goodman, a Republican member of Ohio’s General Assembly. (via The Daily Signal)
Goodman continued his commentary, saying, “In other words, the truly vulnerable have been forced to wait for services, while many who have the capacity to provide for themselves have been jumped to the front of the line.”
Freezing Obamacare expansion enrollment allows states to preserve resources for the truly needy, and let those currently enrolled to maintain coverage for as long as they are eligible.
Kathleen Clyde, a Democrat in Ohio’s House of Representatives, unsurprisingly criticized these efforts, saying, “Instead of providing a path to the middle class for those struggling with underemployment, drug addiction, and low wages, Republican leaders are gutting Medicaid, threatening health care access to over 700,000 Ohioans.” (via Reuters)
This move is also coming under fire from Ohio Governor John Kasich, a moderate Republican who has been soft on Obamacare, reportedly stands in opposition to the bill from the Ohio Senate.
As states like Ohio make bold moves to fight Obamacare, should Congress finally repeal this flawed law? Make your voice heard in the poll below!
Kasich expressed interest that he might support a gradual phase out of Obamacare expansion, but said the House Republicans’ plan fell “woefully short” of providing healthcare for Ohio’s most vulnerable. Kasich recently teamed up with three GOP governors and three Democrat governors in a letter that opposed the Obamacare replacement put forth by Republicans in the U.S. Congress. (via wkyc)
Reducing costs and making sure the truly needy have health insurance not only benefits citizens medically, but also the state’s burden on the tax payer. As Ohio takes measures into their own hands and seeks to find ways to reduce costs and still help people in need of healthcare, perhaps other states will join them.