Local hospital group applauds Medicaid funding approval


The group that represents local hospitals applauded a state panel for voting today to approve funding for Ohio’s expanded Medicaid program.

Ohio's Controlling Board unanimously voted in favor the state Medicaid director's request for $264 million in state funding needed to qualify for $638 million in federal matching funds, according to the Associated Press.

Bryan Bucklew, CEO of the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association, said it is “critically important” for the area and for the state that the funding was approved.

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He said without the funding, it would not only affect those covered by Medicaid but it would lead to an increase in uncompensated health care at local hospitals and doctors offices and those costs would be passed on to commercial insurers.

“If we were not to do the Medicaid expansion it might have an negative impact on insurance rates and services could decline not only from hospitals but also other providers in the region,” Bucklew said.

The Associated Press reported the legislative spending panel had to decide for the first time Monday whether to re-authorize state Medicaid spending, including the expansion that now provides health insurance coverage for more than 700,000 low-income adults.

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Four years ago, Kasich allies stacked the panel to win initial approval for the expansion option made possible under the federal Affordable Care Act. He vetoed an attempt this year to freeze it.

However, GOP lawmakers successfully required board approval on all regular Medicaid spending.

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