Ohio House Democratic lawmakers today sent a letter to Ohio Department of Medicaid Director Barbara Sears, during the agency’s public comment period, calling on the agency to rethink controversial and partisan Medicaid restrictions. The new restrictions would deny some qualifying Medicaid recipients their healthcare without notice if they cannot work a specified number of hours in a given month.
“In a state economy that has trailed the nation in job growth for five consecutive years and where most new jobs are low-wage, part-time work, now is not the time to impose these restrictions. These new stringent rules will force Ohioans into these low-wage, part-time jobs, further exacerbating issues of underemployment and economic mobility,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter.
Though the administration claims no more than 36,036 Ohioans are in jeopardy of losing healthcare coverage under the new restrictions, experts say the actual number of people impacted will be significantly higher if the economy continues to grind to a halt or even more people have trouble finding work.
“Playing political games and increasing barriers to quality, affordable healthcare is wrong and puts people at risk. We urge you to rethink these proposed changes to Medicaid and focus your efforts on expanding, not denying, the right of every Ohioan to quality, affordable healthcare,” the lawmakers continued.
A review of past, similar restrictions found that they do not cut poverty, but instead force participants into low-wage, part-time jobs or temporary jobs with little room for growth or economic mobility.