Governor John Kasich (R-OH) has announced that he wants to accept Medicaid expansion, making him the fifth Republican governor to indicate he will participate in the key component of Obamacare.
Medicaid expansion is designed to cover citizens and legal residents who currently earn too much to be eligible for Medicaid yet earn 138 percent of the poverty level or under — $32,000 per year for a family of four and $15,400 per year for an individual.
In 2012, the Supreme Court decided that states can turn down the expansion even though the federal government will cover 100 percent of the cost at first. By 2020, states will be expected to pay 10 percent of Medicaid coverage. They currently pay about 40 percent.
When explaining why Ohio would accept the expansion, Kasich made the arguments that universal health care proponents have been making for decades: The uninsured cost us all.
“They get their primary care in an emergency room,” Governor Kasich said. “That is not the best way to get people primary care. Not only is it not good for them because it doesn’t allow them to get healthy, secondly it drives up the cost of everybody’s health insurance … I don’t think that’s a sustainable way to do business in Ohio when it comes to health care.”
Expansion will bring an estimated $1.4 billion to Ohio’s economy and cover up to 456,000 Ohioans while creating up to 31,872 jobs.
Twenty states have accepted Medicaid expansion, including GOP-led states Arizona, North Dakota, Nevada, New Mexico and now Ohio. Ten states have rejected it outright, including many of the states that need it the most.