Primary care


As Gov. Kasich and the state legislature consider whether to expand Medicaid coverage they should consider analysis recently released by a non-partisan collaboration of researchers from the Health Policy Institute of Ohio, The Ohio State University and others.

The study confirms that expansion will mean health care coverage for 450,000-plus uninsured Ohioans. This expanded coverage will actually save the state money as it allows more citizens to establish an on-going relationship with a doctor rather than seeking episodic care in the emergency room.

Every day, Community Health Centers like the Community Action Agency of Columbiana County see the need for expanded health care coverage. Thirty-eight percent of our patients lack health insurance. Expanded Medicaid eligibility levels are directly associated with our ability to maintain adequate physician and nurse practitioner coverage, maintain less crowded offices, increase access to care and better meet the needs of patients and our community.

Moving uninsured Ohioans onto Medicaid, into medical homes and out of costly emergency rooms for primary care will save lives, improve health outcomes and reduce costs. I urge Gov. Kasich to include Medicaid expansion in his budget, and ask the General Assembly to embrace its fundamental human and economic benefits.

Beth Weir

Chief operating officer

CAA health centers