Ex-Ohio Gov. Kasich urges compassion in Medicaid pitch to NC


RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Former Ohio Governor John Kasich and other speakers shared experiences from states expanding Medicaid to more working adults on Tuesday, as North Carolina lawmakers carefully weigh whether they should now have coverage. should accept.

Kasich, a former Republican presidential candidate, and presenter of programs in Montana, Indiana, and Michigan, told a General Assembly study committee about the successes and challenges the states had after accepting expansion through a 2010 federal health care law. .

Many talked about how the expansion was financially responsible, improved health outcomes by treating cancer and other diseases that would otherwise be left unchecked, and reduced the amount of services that hospitals needed. will not be reimbursed.

Kasich, who helped start Medicaid in Ohio in 2014, also offered a petition of compassion for lawmakers, making biblical references to help the less fortunate.

“There are a lot of people who need a lot of help. We have to open our hearts to those people,” Kasich said via video conference from Ohio. “It doesn’t mean that we bankrupt ourselves when we do. on the way to be.”

North Carolina is one of a dozen states that have not expanded Medicaid under the 2010 federal health care law for those earning too much to qualify for traditional Medicaid, but for government-subsidized private insurance. are not sufficient to qualify.

Republicans who run the legislature have been concerned for years about Medicaid spending and have been skeptical of the federal government ending the financial bargain to cover 90% of the cost. Presentations about expansion in these Republican-leaning or purple states could help address concerns.

“Great states can not only take care of a few, but they have to take care of all people in some way or another to ensure that they have the opportunity to live a decent life and be able to find out that their What a God-given purpose,” Kasich said.

The committee is gathering information about whether expansion and other health care access changes matter in the nation’s ninth-largest state. Extension supporters have been encouraged by recent openness from within the GOP, especially when Senate Leader Phil Berger announced in late 2021 that he was ready to support the idea. But Berger’s counterparts in the House lost interest as the obligatory work or training requirements for recipients likely became less.

Although President Donald Trump’s administration approved exemptions for such work requirements for a dozen states, courts overturned mandates in Arkansas and Michigan. And President Joe Biden’s administration began to roll back other approved exemptions to work mandates, including those for Ohio. A similar exemption is unlikely for Montana.

Legislators looking for another method to help potential nominees become financially independent so they can obtain private insurance wanted more information about a voluntary workforce training program in Montana.

But the Help-Link program, which was created before current GOP government Greg Gianfort took office, has a negligible number of participants and often overlaps other government workforce training programs, said chief of staff for the state’s public health department, Charlie. Brereton said.

Indiana’s Expansion Program seeks to improve health outcomes and patient responsibility by providing expanded benefits to those who make small monthly payments into a health savings account that helps cover their health care expenses.

Dr. Jennifer Sullivan, a former Indiana cabinet secretary who now works for Charlotte-based Atrium Health, cautioned lawmakers against expecting the expansion to immediately save health care costs. Sullivan said that medically vulnerable consumers would seek services they were unable to receive while they were uninsured. A health insurance industry lobbyist in Michigan also addressed the committee.

North Carolina currently has 2.7 million residents enrolled in traditional Medicaid. While 600,000 residents will benefit from the expansion in its first two years, about a third of them are currently receiving traditional Medicaid because of the COVID-19 health emergency.

Sullivan said Indiana covers 10% of the state’s share of those enrolled under the expansion with the help of assessment fees paid by hospitals. Cooper has proposed a similar fee to handle part of North Carolina.

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