Proposed Changes to the Affordable Care Act
month, we brought together Columbus residents and local health professionals to
hear their stories during an Affordable Care Act (ACA) Healthcare Forum. We
wanted to listen and understand how repealing or structurally changing the ACA
would impact their lives and organizations.
we heard was that material changes to the ACA would hurt the health of
residents, financially devastate families and erode progress made to our health
we saw during the standing room only event were people eager for answers, ready
with pens, pads and smart phones for direction.
is a sampling of the positive impacts the ACA - especially Medicaid expansion -
has had on our community, according to our expert panelists:
- In Franklin County alone, 70,427 residents have gained
coverage and access to care through Medicaid expansion.
- Under Medicaid
expansion, enrollees with an opioid addiction reported higher percentages
of increased access to care, access to prescription drug medications, and
access to mental health services than other Medicaid recipients. (Ohio
Group VIII Assessment)
- Alvis, Inc. shared how the restored citizen
population they work with, of which a majority suffer from chronic
conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure, have benefited from
being able to enroll in Medicaid upon release from incarceration.
- The OSU Wexner Medical Center
expressed concern over the potential reduction
in services if a repeal takes place. There is great uncertainty
about how to fill the gap if Medicaid expansion ends and what
types of decisions must be made to compensate for the loss of
is a matter of life-and-death, and the proposed Republican replacement bill
released earlier this week does nothing to calm our community's worst
addition to increasing taxes, increasing premiums and decreasing care, it will
also decimate the Medicaid safety net local governments use to combat the drug
epidemic ravaging our neighborhoods.
our own Governor John Kasich has broken with leadership in Washington and said
that doing away with Medicaid expansion is “a very, very bad idea, because we
can’t turn our back on the most vulnerable.”
simply cannot afford changes that eliminate or reduce health care coverage for
individuals and families, especially those fighting addiction, our seniors, and
those struggling to make ends meet.