Medicaid Expansion is Right for Ohio (letter to editor, Columbus Dispatch, 4.4.13)
The Medicaid expansion currently being debated in the state budget would improve the health, safety and stability of Ohioans and Ohio families.
People who have access to health care are healthier. They get more appropriate preventive care and avoid emergency-room visits and heath crises. Many low-wage workers do not have access to employment-based health insurance, and they cannot afford to buy private insurance.
Families and individuals with access to health care are safer. They can get the health care they need, including immunizations and prescription medications, to avoid health risks and address chronic conditions.
Families and individuals with access to health care are more stable. Medical debt was a factor in 62 percent of the 38,000 bankruptcy filings in Ohio in 2012. Medical debts also play a significant role in home foreclosures. Access to health care would significantly reduce the number of bankruptcies and home foreclosures so that more Ohioans could remain economically stable and independent.
Debt also is a factor in domestic violence. Reducing medical debt would lessen family stress and domestic violence, keeping more families intact and stable.
Access to health care also will make Ohioans more employable, increasing their financial and social stability.
The Medicaid expansion would provide a helping hand to Ohio, Ohioans and Ohio families. It would keep Ohioans healthy, safe and stable. It is the right decision for Ohio and all of our residents.
– EUGENE R. KING
Ohio Poverty Law Center