Happy 50th Anniversary Medicare & Medicaid!

Cathy Levine, Executive Director of UHCAN Ohio, Announces Her Departure at the End of the Year

After more than two decades of extraordinary leadership at UHCAN Ohio, including 14 as Executive Director, Cathy Levine has announced that she will step down in December 2015.

"UHCAN Ohio has thrived under Cathy's brilliant leadership, and her accomplishments in building the consumer voice to make health care work for all Ohioans are nearly impossible to count," says Lorin Ranbom, President of UHCAN Ohio’s Board of Trustees.

"From her early work making consumers aware of financial assistance available to help pay their hospital bills to the expansion of coverage and into the present, reshaping the health care system to meet the needs of every Ohioan, few can match her persistency and passion in advocating for quality, affordable health coverage for those that need it most in our community.  Cathy's leadership and vision, as well as the amazing talent she has recruited and cultivated on UHCAN Ohio's staff, and the stable financial foundation she has built for the organization, ensure UHCAN Ohio's future as a major advocate for quality, affordable health coverage for all Ohioans. “

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.

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