The federal Department of Health and Human Services has released the final draft of the Obamacare application, and it is a work of nerdy art. It clocks in at 3 pages and requires no additional forms to be submitted. Your SSN and income information are verified with other agencies, so there’s no need to send them the dead tree.
If you earn less than 138% of poverty, this form will also enroll you in Medicaid. Correction: if you earn less than 138% of poverty and don’t live in Ohio, this form will enroll you in Medicaid.
Why? Because Gov. Kasich wanted to keep control over the Medicaid enrollment process. This was reasonable in February, when Ohio was moving forward with Medicaid expansion and modernization, and Kasich had any influence over Republicans in the state.
Now, expansion is on the back burner, modernization has been thrown into limbo, and Kasich is nothing but a rubber stamp for the Tea Party crazies who control the Ohio House.
The Medicaid modernization plan involved creating a new application and new enrollment software, and limiting the in-person interviews required at county Job and Family Services offices. That was stripped out of the budget, because removing in-person interview requirements in favor of cost-saving automation is big-government socialism (or something).
Instead, Ohio Republicans want you to fill out this online Medicaid application (warning: you can’t even see it without creating a profile) and mail a bunch of documents to county JFS, including your birth certificate. Of the 20 pages, many of them have to do with your military service–but if you aren’t a veteran you still have to fill them out.
Pointless bureaucracy, 30-year old software, and no expanded coverage: ladies and gentlemen, your 2013 Ohio Republican Party.