On Wednesday, the two-year state budget (HB49) was passed out of the Ohio House and Senate. It now heads to Governor Kasich, and needs to be signed into law by midnight on Friday, June 30th. Unfortunately, the legislature passed the budget bill with a number of provisions that threaten women’s healthcare.
The budget included a provision to earmark a total of $1,000,000 over the two-year budget cycle for so-called “crisis pregnancy centers” (CPCs). These centers – which pose as women’s health clinics and often refer to themselves as “pregnancy resource centers” – are a serious threat to women seeking comprehensive health care information and services. In reality, CPCs are not actually licensed or regulated healthcare clinics, do not provide reproductive healthcare services, and provide misleading and medically inaccurate information to women during a pregnancy.
And, at the same time that the legislature is including funding for fake health clinics in the budget, they’ve also included changes to Ohio’s Medicaid program that would greatly diminish access to real healthcare. The three provisions that impose new limits to Medicaid include:
Freezing Ohio’s Medicaid expansion enrollment beginning in July 2018. The Medicaid expansion program has provided hundreds of thousands of low-income Ohioans access to coverage, and it’s estimated that 500,000 Ohioans could lose coverage under this provision.
Imposing monthly premiums for low-income recipients (in the expansion population), and terminating coverage for failure to pay the premium. This ‘modest’ $20 monthly premium would be a huge roadblock for many low-income people to keep coverage. It is estimated that 15 percent of the expansion population – over 100,000 Ohioans – could lose their coverage due to this provision.
Adding a work requirement for Medicaid expansion, ending coverage for newly unemployed people, those looking for jobs, and those on a waiting list for addiction treatment. Research on other safety net programs with work requirements has found that they are overall ineffective in helping people gain long-term employment.
These changes would be devastating to Ohio’s women and families that would lose access to coverage as a result. For additional information on the state budget provisions limiting Medicaid, use our partner resources, provided below:
Policy Matters: Harming Healthcare in Ohio and America
While the bill passed out of the legislature with these harmful provisions, Gov. Kasich still has line-item veto authority to block certain provisions from going into effect.
Call Governor Kasich at (614) 466-3555 by Friday. Tell him to veto the funding allocation to “crisis pregnancy centers” and the Medicaid freeze, work requirements and premiums in the state budget (HB49).