Medicaid

State lawmakers are trying to hash out a final budget deal that they can send to the governor’s desk. This includes how they’ll spend money to fight the opioid epidemic while closing a more than $1 billion budget hole. There’s a big issue that looms over the discussion.

The largest chunk of state spending is Medicaid. 

But the Congressional health care debate includes talks of dramatically cutting federal funding for Medicaid and Medicaid expansion, the latter has enrolled more than 700,000 Ohioans.

Rob Portman
WKSU

Senator Rob Portman says he supports a reduction over time in federal funds for Medicaid expansion. The Cincinnati-area Republican is taking part in GOP negotiations over an Affordable Care Act replacement. 

Portman says the expansion of Medicaid eligibility under the ACA has helped fund treatment for opioid addiction.

“So it’s a really important part of how you reform the healthcare system, is that you ensure that those people still have access to coverage,” Portman says.

Ohio Heath Care Association and Association of Health Plans
OAHP, OHCA

Lawmakers and the Kasich administration have gone back and forth on a budget issue that would change the way people with long term health problems would receive medical care. That provision is still on the table as the Senate works to craft their final draft of the budget bill.

Gov. John Kasich wants Medicaid recipients with long-term health needs to receive managed care through health insurance plans.

Supporters say that would save money in the long run and provide more efficient care for patients. But the House took that provision out in place of more study.

Photo of Republican Senator Steve Wilson
Jo Ingles / Statehouse News Bureau

A bill to combat and prevent fraud against senior citizens is being considered by state lawmakers. 

Republican Sen. Steve Wilson says less than 5 percent of the fraud cases against senior citizens are reported. And he says people who might suspect seniors are being ripped off don’t often report it.

“Not only do we lose money from our seniors but we also lose money from our taxpayers because when this fraud is perpetrated, and when a Mrs. Jones loses her life savings, often times Mrs. Jones goes from being private pay within our care community to being on Medicaid.”

photo of Ohio Association of Health Plans and Ohio Health Care Association
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

About 90 percent of people on Medicaid are enrolled into a managed-care program. A proposal floating around in the Ohio Legislature would increase that number by bringing people with long-term health problems into the fold.

But Ohio’s nursing homes and assisted-living communities are fighting back.

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