Ohio’s Medicaid Expansion

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from NCPA,

In June 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional those provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) that deny federal matching funds for Medicaid to states that refuse to extend eligibility to individuals and families with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL). As a result, Ohio and other states now have the opportunity to compare the costs and benefits of expanding Medicaid eligibility, say Devon Herrick, a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis, and Linda Gorman, director of the Health Policy Center at the Independence Institute.

– There are about 3 million individuals living in Ohio with incomes under 139 percent of the federal poverty level, about one-fourth of whom lack health coverage.

– Ohio Medicaid does not currently cover poverty-level, nondisabled adults.

– Many of these individuals — at least theoretically — would become eligible for Medicaid under an expanded program.

Ohio would be better served to free those earning above 100 percent of the federal poverty level to seek subsidized coverage in the health insurance exchange. For families earning less than 100 percent of poverty, Ohio could tailor its Medicaid program in ways that make sense and meet Ohioans’ specific needs. These services might include selectively covering some optional populations but not others.

The program might also involve providing limited benefits rather than an open-ended entitlement to whatever health care is available.

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