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October 16, 2013 (Cleveland)

Lobby Day Message: Expand Ohio Medicaid Eligibility



Ohio Medicaid EligibilityJust days before the pivotal State of Ohio Controlling Board vote, The Center for Health Affairs and dozens of representatives from Northeast Ohio advocacy organizations gathered in Columbus to ask lawmakers to support the expansion of Ohio Medicaid eligibility. The advocates — all a part of the Northeast Ohio Medicaid Expansion Coalition — aimed to make a last minute push to garner support for Medicaid expansion.

“We knew the Controlling Board vote that would determine the fate of Medicaid expansion in Ohio was just days away and we wanted to make sure lawmakers understood that there was overwhelming support for the issue in Northeast Ohio,” said Deanna Moore, vice president, corporate communications, who participated in the event. “The members we spoke to kept telling us they were getting a lot of phone calls from the opposition so it was certainly worthwhile to go down as a coalition and remind them why Medicaid expansion was so important.”

NEO-MEC members attended 23 scheduled meetings with lawmakers or their staff and stopped by the offices of dozens of others, including all of the Controlling Board members to reiterate the merits of expanding Ohio Medicaid eligibility. During each visit, the lobby-day participants provided lawmakers with educational materials and explained why their organization supported expansion and what it would mean to their constituents or members.

The State of Ohio Controlling Board, a 7-member body consisting of six lawmakers and the director of the Office of Management and Budget or a designee, is charged with making day-to-day adjustments to the state budget. On Oct. 11, the Kasich administration announced it would attempt to achieve Medicaid expansion through a Controlling Board vote. On Oct. 21, the 7-member body voted by a 5 to 2 majority to appropriate the federal funds available through the Affordable Care Act to expand Ohio Medicaid eligibility.

For more information on The Center’s efforts to expand Ohio Medicaid eligibility, please contact Deanna Moore at 216.255.3614 or via email or Tony Gutowski at 215.255.3610 or via email.

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