The Kasich Administration today filed a waiver request with the federal government, stemming from Republican attempts to undercut Ohio’s Medicaid expansion in the previous state budget. The administration says 36,036 Ohioans are in jeopardy of losing healthcare under the new restrictions, but the actual number of people impacted – if the waiver is approved – could be significantly higher if the economy slows down or more people have trouble finding work.
“Keeping people sick or taking away their health insurance won’t create more opportunity in our state or make our economy more competitive,” said state Rep. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood). “This is nothing more than a punitive partisan, one-sided attempt to take away healthcare from people in need of temporary assistance. People want an opportunity for a better life for themselves and their families. Taking away healthcare is not the way to move Ohio forward, it is not a prescription for success”
The proposed restrictions would mean people who are sick, lack transportation, experience a family emergency or simply can’t find work would lose Medicaid coverage without notice if they do not work 80 hours in a given month.
A review of past work requirement proposals in entitlement programs found that these policies do not reduce poverty and often leave participants languishing in low-wage, temporary jobs.
Antonio is the minority leader for the House Health Committee and serves on the state’s Joint Medicaid Oversight Committee.