As a native Ohioan and former staff member to Senator John Glenn, I’m thrilled that my home state announced today they will join the majority of states and move forward with expanding the Ohio Medicaid program, as supported by the Affordable Care Act. As the 26th state to expand, Governor Kasich will join a number of other Republican governors in putting aside partisan politics, and recognizing the practical and economic benefits of supporting Medicaid expansion. This is great news for the 270,000 previously uninsured residents, the State’s health care providers, and Ohio economy who will benefit from this expansion.
Leaders across the country are looking at the numbers, and coming to the same conclusion – Medicaid expansion makes sense. In Ohio, for example, the Health Policy Institute of Ohio estimated, in a joint study with Ohio State University, Urban Institute and Regional Economic Models, Inc., that even after taking into account any increased Medicaid cost for the state, the Medicaid expansion on balance would create between $1.8 – $1.9 billion in net state budget gains over the next 9 years. And, Medicaid expansion will affect Ohio residents in other ways. The Institute’s analysis finds that Ohio expansion would create more than 27,000 jobs, reduce health care costs for Ohio employers and residents by $285 million and $1.1 billion, respectively, and reduce the number of uninsured by more than 450,000 Ohio residents over the next 9 years.