The weekend brought troubling reports that the Ohio House is going to introduce their own version of the Medicaid expansion, and last night the Dispatch reported that they were dropping it altogether (despite having 40 GOP votes in favor).

The leaks to the Dispatch and Plain Dealer (nothing in the Enquirer, natch) are the most troubling aspect, though, because Obamacare already does the things the GOP wants to do.

Barbara Sears reportedly wants to use the Medicaid funds to purchase private coverage for qualified individuals.  Yes, let’s do that!  And let’s call it “managed care”.

Does Rep. Sears really not know that Ohio uses Medicaid Managed Care?

Meanwhile, the Plain Dealer is reporting that Republicans want to allow people between 100-138% of poverty to get subsidies in the Exchange.  Gee, that sounds great!  Let’s call that “Obamacare”, because they’re already going to be offered those subsidies.

Is it really possible that Ohio’s legislators have spent the past month revamping a Medicaid proposal, and they never even read the original proposal?


When they roll this out, keep these four things in mind:

  • To get the federal money, Ohio must provide equal coverage to Medicaid
  • Medicaid has no premium
  • Medicaid has no co-pay
  • Medicaid pays providers around half of what private insurance does

And somebody tell the Dispatch that they’re not counting the full budgetary impact of the Medicaid plan.  Kasich’s budget uses almost $1 billion from expansion in the next biennium.

* The cost avoidance comes from other programmatic changes to Ohio Medicaid.  The waiver to implement those changes is unlikely to be approved unless we expand Medicaid, so those cost savings should be considered part of the expansion.

** You might say that, without expansion, the state won’t update the 34-year old enrollment software.  This software has huge cost savings for counties and municipalities by reducing the number of appeals and manual entries.