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March 01, 2011

Looking for a New Direction: Ohio Medicaid at a Crossroads

Though there’s no denying the value of Medicaid to the vulnerable populations it serves, this safety net does not come without a cost.  Medicaid is a very expensive program, often the largest in a state’s budget and in most states – including Ohio – spending is growing at an unsustainable rate, threatening to crowd out other essential state-funded programs.  Considering these factors, the trick for policymakers is ensuring that the safety net is not disrupted for those who really need it while at the same time preventing the state from continuing along an unsustainable financial path.  Understanding the many factors that play into Medicaid policy decisions can be useful in appreciating the policy changes that are surely down the road.  This issue brief aims to highlight some of these factors and to provide a roadmap for understanding the rocky Medicaid terrain on which the state now finds itself. - March 2011