OCHC Response to Budget as Signed by Governor Kasich: “#StrongerOhio” Doesn't Mean Healthier Ohio

“Ohio is near the bottom on the health of its people on a host of measures, such as infant mortality (47th) and percent of adults with diabetes (46th). The two-year budget stands its ground in one important way, but misses opportunities to improve the health of Ohioans in others.
 
To their great credit, the Governor and lawmakers continue the extension of Medicaid coverage to all adults with incomes at or below 138% federal poverty level. Over 500,000 people have enrolled since the expansion took effect in January 2014. People with chronic mental and physical health conditions are now able to obtain regular, coordinated care in cost-effective primary care settings instead of showing up in hospitals when they are sicker and more difficult to treat.
 
However, the provision requiring the administration to seek a federal waiver to enroll most adults on Medicaid in “Healthy Ohio” threatens the success of the Medicaid expansion and signals a big step backward for Ohio’s health transformation efforts. “Healthy Ohio” is a complex program that, if approved by CMS, will burden the state with unsustainable administrative expenses for collecting payments and tracking compliance. Two states with similar programs – Virginia and Arkansas – either modified or abandoned these programs because they cost too much to operate. Furthermore, the program will put additional obstacles in the way of people who need to prioritize regular primary care to manage chronic health conditions and improve their health, while struggling to make ends meet and provide for basic needs on inadequate income. We regret that Governor Kasich did not veto this program and hope that the federal government will reject Ohio’s application.
 

King v. Burwell: Big Win for Ohio Consumers!

Ohio Consumers for Health Coverage is celebrating the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision today in King v. Burwell.  “Once again the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the legitimacy of the Affordable Care Act. The ruling confirms what we have known all along – the law was designed to provide a tax credit to any American who qualifies, regardless of the type of Marketplace they use,” said Cathy Levine, co-chair of Ohio Consumer for Health Coverage.

 “As a consumer organization, we are relieved that nearly 200,000 Ohio enrollees who receive Marketplace subsidies won’t have to worry about losing access to necessary medical care.”  It is particularly good news to Susan Halpern, who is self-employed and was able to stop draining her retirement savings to afford health coverage.

 “It’s a relief that I don’t have to worry about whether I’m going to be able to afford my coverage or not anymore. I’m thrilled that the Supreme Court ruled to protect consumers like me,” said Susan.

Congratulations to our 2015 Lend Your Voice - Health Care for All Honorees!

On May 21, 2015, UHCAN Ohio held our annual "Lend Your Voice - Health Care for All" tribute and fundraising event. Thank you to all who joined us for an inspiring two hours.

The event’s theme "Lend Your Voice," resonated as

  • presenters described each honoree’s leadership in advocating for the health of their communities and
  • each honoree gave voice to the people whose lives they change through their advocacy.

Each introducer and honoree painted a picture of the challenges and successes we encounter pursuing our mission to make health care work for ALL Ohioans.

We recognized these Champions of Health Care who work to address the dental access crisis, improve population health, reduce health disparities, and protect the well-being of older adults and people with disabilities.

Former Insurance Exec Turned Whistleblower, Wendell Potter, Exposed the Dental Crisis in the US and Ohio

Wendell Potter visit Ohio for a 3 day stint in Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati. He spoke to consumers about his experience as an insurance industry PR exectuive who used the tactic FUD, Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt, to influence public policy and public opinion. He likened his work to what organized denistry is currently doing against mid-level dental providers, called Dental Therapists. Mr. Potter explained how he "saw the light" at a Remote Area Medical event where he saw hundreds of people line up at the crack of dawn to recieve much needed medical and dental care.

The second half of his presentations were open discussions with consumers to discuss what we can do to fight against organized denistry's FUD tactics. Thanks to Ohio Aids Coalition, Ohio Public Health Association and UHCAN Ohio.

VIDEO OF HIS PRESENTATION: COMING SOON!

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