Mar 29 2013

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Ohio’s Medicaid Expansion Guarantees Poor Outcomes and High Costs

Ohioans are bombarded with mediahype promoting Governor Kasich’s endorsement of Medicaid Expansion in Ohio. The misinformation from the Governor’s office does a disservice to Ohio’s uninsured residents and heralds the decline of health care for every Buckeye.  Expanding Medicaid is the vehicle to cover Ohio’s uninsured as required under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) aka Obamacare. As Medicaid enrollees will attest, having a card showing coverage and obtaining timely, quality care are not always aligned. There are several key concerns about Medicaid that Ohioans should note before throwing support behind this ill-considered expansion.


  • One-third of doctors don’t accept new Medicaid patients and those who do are extremely limited in their ability to take on new patients.
  • Hospitals write-off billions in uncompensated care each year – $41 billion dollars in 2011, mainly from uninsured patients; that figure does not include underpayments from Medicare and Medicaid. Fractional reimbursement from an expanded Medicaid system is their motivation to support the Governor, but supply will suffer as it exceeds demand with no financial incentive to increase the quality or quantity of care.
  • This is not an incentive to quality care and groundbreaking medical research – in fact, it resembles sub-par systems in England and Canada. Additionally, new drug research will suffer.
  • Health outcomes are worse for Medicaid patients than any other group (according to a University of Virginia study), with higher death percentages than even the uninsured.
    This studies results have been duplicated by many other studies.
  • The Affordable Care Act will require 52,000 additional primary care providers by 2025. America will not meet that goal. Even studies that dispute that number, say a significant percentage of medical visits will be handled by nurses or Physician’s Assistants.
  • Employers with low-wage earners, such as restaurants will find it beneficial to dump employees on Medicaid.
  • Hundreds of thousands of additional Ohioans will become dependent on a government program. This will force them to support politicians who will maintain or grow the size of government.
  • 66% of Ohioans passed the Health Care Freedom Amendment. Expansion defies the intent of that Amendment which was signed into law.

The facts listed above speak volumes about where Ohio is headed if this expansion isn’t stopped in its tracks. Our legislators still have a chance to do the right thing

The Governor and his staffers should stop their war against grassroots activists who truly care about quality health care and their fellow Buckeyes. It is not necessary to admonish critics as he did in the State of the State address: “For those that live in the shadows of life, those who are the least among us, I will not accept the fact that the most vulnerable in our state should be ignored. We can help them – and I want all of you to think about this.”  There is nothing Christian or compassionate about subjecting Ohio to a system in desparate need of reform, not expansion.  Governor. Your new appointee to the state medical board is out of bounds calling Ohio Tea Party groups, “idealogues that are putting the conservative movement at risk by opposing the expansion of Medicaid and saying to hell with other Ohioans.”

Governor Kasich knows he is trading a short term populist boost for long term federal dependency. Sadly, he is forcing the same people who put him in office to fight his administration on an issue that attacks every principle that drives the Conservative grassroots movement.

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