Medicaid

Ohio House chamber
Andy Chow / Ohio Public Radio

The 4th of July celebrations have wrapped up throughout the state, but Ohio lawmakers are unlikely to truly be taking a break. That's because Gov. John Kasich vetoed 47 items when he signed Ohio's two-year budget Friday. 

Gov. John Kasich signed his third budget on June 30, 2015.
Ohio Public Radio

It may seem like the budget is coming down to the wire. But waiting till the last minute to get the budget in place is pretty typical.

Ohio Statehouse Legislative Chamber
Bob Hall / Flickr

The clock is ticking for Gov. John Kasich who has until Friday night to sign the $65 billion state budget that fills a revenue shortfall and makes some major policy changes. At least one of those changes that could set the stage for a veto fight. 

Medicaid is the government health care program for the poor.

That's the shorthand explanation. But Medicaid is so much more than that — which is why it has become the focal point of the battle in Washington to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

When people talk about jobs in Ohio, they often talk about the ones that got away.

"Ten years ago, we had steel. Ten years ago, we had coal. Ten years ago, we had plentiful jobs," says Mike McGlumphy, who runs the job center in Steubenville, Ohio, the Jefferson County seat.

Today, the city on the Ohio River is a shell of its former self. And health care has overtaken manufacturing as the county's main economic driver.

Updated at 2:32 p.m. ET

Senate Republicans unveiled their long-awaited health care overhaul proposal on Thursday. The Senate bill, called the "Better Care Reconciliation Act," would repeal major parts of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The broad outlines of it look a lot like the House bill, the American Health Care Act, which was passed in May.

A new analysis from the Associated Press shows Medicaid expansion accounted for 43 percent of total Ohio Medicaid spending on substance abuse and mental health treatment.

Advocates for the poor worry a proposed amendment in the state Senate budget that would end Medicaid expansion enrollment would be a disaster for Ohio’s opioid crisis.

As the U.S. Senate prepares to unveil its health care plan, the Ohio Senate is moving with a provision that would stop enrolling a certain group of people into Medicaid. 

Senator Rob Portman says he supports a reduction over time in federal funds for Medicaid expansion.

The Cincinnati-area Republican is taking part in GOP negotiations over an Affordable Care Act replacement. He answered questions about Medicaid during a news conference at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland.

Portman said the expansion of Medicaid eligibility under the ACA has helped fund treatment for opioid addiction.

Lawmakers and the Kasich administration have gone back and forth on a budget issue that would change the way people with long term health problems would receive medical care. That provision is still on the table as the Senate works to craft their final draft of the budget bill.

Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof
Ohio Senate

The Senate has unveiled its version of the two-year state budget. It dedicates even more money for the state to fight the opioid epidemic and includes more money for most schools. But it also comes with spending cuts for state agencies and outright elimination of some programs.

Ohio Budget Director Tim Keen (from left), House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, Governor John Kasich and Senate President Larry Obhof discuss changes to the state budget.
Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

The Ohio Senate’s changes to the House version of the upcoming state budget will be released soon. And those changes will be important, since Gov. John Kasich told lawmakers they have to cut $800 million from his initial budget because of falling tax revenues.

For the hundreds of rural hospitals struggling to stay in business, health policy decisions made in Washington D.C. this summer could make survival a lot tougher.

doctor
Pixabay

State senators are considering a proposal to move more of Ohio’s Medicaid population into managed care. And a new study from a group representing health insurance companies in Ohio shows that managed health care for certain people saves money and proves to be more effective.

Updated at 3:02 p.m. ET.

The Trump administration says it can balance the federal budget within a decade. Its proposal calls for significant cuts to social safety net programs and assumes more robust economic growth.

The administration released what it calls a "Taxpayer First" budget on Tuesday.

"This is, I think, the first time in a long time that an administration has written a budget through the eyes of the people who are actually paying the taxes," White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told reporters in a briefing on Monday.

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