OPLC releases Health Care and Uncompensated Care Fact Sheets for Ohio Counties
The Ohio Poverty Law Center recently developed uncompensated care and Medicaid fact sheets for each of Ohio’s 88 counties to illustrate the benefits of expanding Medicaid on local economies. For more than a year, Ohio has been debating whether to expand Medicaid to Ohioans up to 138% of the federal poverty level. That expansion would provide access to health care for 300,000 very low-income Ohioans who are currently uninsured and have little or no access to health care.
For each county, the fact sheets include:
- the number of uninsured adults living in the county
- the number of uninsured adults living in the county with incomes at or below 138% of the federal poverty level who would be eligible for Medicaid under an expansion
- the current number of Medicaid recipients living in the county
- the amount of uncompensated care provided by hospitals
This information illustrates the economic benefits Medicaid expansion would have on local economies by (1) reducing medical debt so that low-income patients and their families can use their scarce resources for other necessities such as food and housing, (2) dramatically reducing cost shifting by hospitals for care provided to uninsured patients, and (3) pumping millions of dollars into county economies and billions of dollars into the state’s economy via Medicaid payments to hospitals, physicians and other health care providers.
For a full set of the county fact sheets, visit: http://www.ohiopovertylawcenter.org/county-medicaid-expansion-fact-sheets
Studies have found that every $1.00 of Medicaid spending generates about $3.15 of economic activity so that this multiplier effect will help to create even more new jobs and businesses in Ohio’s counties. One such study is: R Greenbaum and A Desai. Uneven Burden: Economic analysis of Medicaid expenditure changes in Ohio. The Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio 2003. http://www.ppm.ohio-state.edu/ppm/Medicaid.pdf.
Of course, the benefits of expanding Medicaid go far beyond mere dollars and cents. Improved health status, extended life expectancy, expanded employability, greater family stability and other personal and societal benefits will eventually dwarf the economic impacts, but the economic benefits to the state and each of Ohio’s counties should persuade policy makers who only focus on the bottom line too support expanding Medicaid.
Please share this information with friends and neighbors and encourage everyone to contact their legislators to ask them to support expanding Medicaid in Ohio to the fullest extent
Let us all hope that Ohio takes the steps to expand Medicaid soon so that all Ohioans and our local and state economies can enjoy the benefits beginning in January 2014.