Ohio lawmakers must decide whether to follow Gov. John Kasich’s lead and approve a vast expansion of Ohio’s Medicaid system that would be funded largely by federal dollars.
Medicaid, which helps low-income Americans, covers about 2 million people in Ohio. The proposed expansion, which raises income eligibility and extends coverage to single people who don’t have children, would add about another 500,000 Ohioans to Medicaid.
Click here for a video of a speech from Erie County Tea Party leader Ralph Kraus.
Click here for the e*Paper or buy a copy of today's Register at a newsstand near you to see what others say about Kasich's proposal to secure federal dollars.
The federal government would cover 100 percent of the cost of the expansion for the first three years of the program, then gradually reduce its support to 90 percent.
Kasich said during last week’s speech in Lima that if lawmakers don’t act, tax dollars from Ohio taxpayers will be spent in other states. The Medicaid expansion would bring $13 billion of Ohio tax dollars back home so that the poor don’t have to try to obtain medical care in emergency rooms, Kasich said.
“I (have to) tell you, I can’t look at the disabled, I can’t look at the poor, I can’t look at the mentally ill, I can’t look at the addicted and think we ought to ignore them,” Kasich said. “For those that live in the shadows of life, those who are the least among us, I will not accept the fact that the most vulnerable in our state should be ignored. We can help them..
Ralph Kraus, a Perkins Township resident who is a leader of the Firelands Patriots Tea Party group in Erie County and a member of the Ohio Liberty Council, hopes lawmakers will reject Kasich’s appeal. Kraus said the federal government already is deeply in debt and making promises it can’t keep.
“When the government is promising to take care of you when it’s $16 trillion in debt, it’s kind of foolish to believe the government is doing to stand behind this,” Kraus said.