Columbus, OH – Jane Taylor, state director for AARP Ohio, today thanked Ohio Gov. John Kasich for agreeing to expand Medicaid, allowing more Ohioans to get the health care they need. She issued the following statement in support of the governor’s proposal.

 “AARP Ohio commends the governor for proposing to expand Medicaid to provide coverage for hardworking people who’ve paid in all their lives but are now struggling to make ends meet. The governor’s decision will be of significant help to 50 to 64-year-olds who’ve lost their jobs or are struggling in lower-paying jobs without health insurance and cannot currently qualify for Medicaid health coverage. It will help more Ohioans get access to quality and preventive care so that they can be healthier and more productive. This decision also will reduce costly emergency visits, and catch and treat at an earlier stage those suffering from chronic disease, which becomes an even bigger problem as we age.”

“AARP strongly urges the Ohio legislature to expand the program. Doing so would mean health care coverage for 684,000 in Ohio who are now uncovered, according to a November study by the nationally known Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. Expansion would mean those making 138 percent of the federal poverty level would be eligible for coverage under Medicaid. That equates to annual income of $15,414 for an individual, $24,344 for a family of three. Now, they are eligible only if they make $9,360 a year or less.”

“Good health is a benefit that needs to be defended and guaranteed for all people, not just for those who can afford it. AARP supports making health care more readily available and affordable to all Ohioans. The expansion of Medicaid is a welcome step in that direction. We look forward to working with the Governor and legislators as they make important choices on how to strengthen and improve health care in Ohio.”

You can watch the governor and cabinet members talk about the state budget and the expansion of the Medicaid program at the Ohio Channel.

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