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Healthy Ohio Program

Jul 8th 2016 6:11 pm Response: #209193 This is sick!!
You are already taking a group who has to choose rent verses medication and you are taking more resources away. If they do not do it then you place them in harms way. This is systemic abuse of individual with special needs and violates their ADA rights in my book.
Jul 12th 2016 6:40 pm Response: #209393 I'm a pediatrician with 40 years' practice experience. I worked at Kaiser in cleveland and it was very clear that any impediment to parents getting care for their children resulted in poor health. We already have the worst child health of all developed countries. The ideology which justifies this is both sick and cruel, as well as very expensive. Turn it down!!!!
Karl W. Hess, MD, FAAP
Jul 13th 2016 11:50 am Response: #209441 This is outrageous. I oppose the “Healthy Ohio” Medicaid Waiver. The proposed changes will make health care unaffordable for me and the 1 million other low income Ohioans on Medicaid. This proposal would hurt the recent progress Ohio has made in increasing access to health care. Deaths will result.

My current Medicaid coverage (finally obtained in 2014) allowed me to get treatment for cancer and for type 1 diabetes. I work, am a real estate agent, am a caretaker for my elderly mother and cannot obtain healthcare anywhere except Medicaid. I did not have any access to any healthcare for 13 years. The costs of insulin almost bankrupted us. I lost just about everything I had after my healthcare coverage was removed in 2001 for the crime of being a working diabetic. I survived.

Under “Healthy Ohio” if I can’t afford to pay my premium, I will lose my health coverage which will mean I won’t be able to get chemotherapy and insulin. What an absolute outrage. Of course we can't afford the premiums. That is why we are on Medicaid. We have no choice. We work and are kept in poverty by medical needs/costs. Who thinks we would "choose" this? Who "chooses" cancer and diabetes and suffering and the resulting poverty?

Patients are already paying costs for items/services/products not covered by Medicaid. Our lives are already nearly impossible. Now, GOP politicians in Ohio are playing more games with healthcare for purely political reasons, as usual.

The constant filings with the Supreme Court to block healthcare access for working Americans did not serve as intended for the GOP in Congress, so now the states have to attempt to stop healthcare access. Killing Americans never makes any difference to the GOP--they serve insurers first. This is the well known history of the attempts to block healthcare for working Americans. It is the most horrendous activity our corrupt politicians engage in. 48,000 Americans died each year due to this corruption in Congress and the expansion of healthcare access under the Obama administration has saved millions of lives and tax dollars already.

Why should working, chronically-ill, poor Ohioans have to endure this additional insult from our taxpayer-supported political players? What on earth would prompt these wealthy GOP office occupants to take time to again attack the chronically ill, working poor in Ohio, wasting our tax dollars in this needless process? As Sen. Sherrod Brown has noted, this is, "...politics at its worst."
Jul 13th 2016 12:46 pm Response: #209445 July 13, 2016

To the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services:

I urge that CMS reject the State of Ohio’s “Healthy Ohio” 1115 Medicaid Waiver request because it will assuredly result in loss of medical coverage for many low income Ohioans who received coverage under Ohio’s expanded program. It will also be a costly, unnecessarily bureaucratic challenge to implement. In my opinion, this action will undo the commitment Ohio made to many of its low-income, working poor citizens when it first expanded Medicaid. If the waiver is granted, the result is certain to be a less healthy Ohio. Here’s why:

In Ohio, 640,000 citizens now have coverage as a result of Medicaid expansion and more than 2.9 million Ohioans (or 25 percent of the state’s population) are enrolled in Medicaid. The waiver, if granted, would begin to charge Medicaid enrollees small monthly premiums and coverage would be terminated for non-payment of those premiums. Buy back in would require paying the delinquent amount along with the current charge. This will be a challenge because recipients are low-income citizens of our State, people whose limited income often requires tough choices (should they fix the car so they can get to work and earn money to feed their family -- and risk losing their health insurance, or should they pay the premium and perhaps lose their job?) This is just one example. I saw many versions of these between “a rock and a hard place” choices that low-income, working families have to make each and every day in my 35 years working with families of limited income as ED of a local nonprofit in Cleveland Heights.

It is also true that the waiver, if granted, would institute complicated health savings accounts and debit cards which would be a nightmare to administer and too complex to be useable. All this will do is increase the bureaucracy that low income families face daily. It makes no sense.

These changes will negatively impact Ohio’s low-income Medicaid population. They will create barriers to access to care for more than 1 million people and be contrary to the purposes and legal guidelines of Medicaid. I urge that Ohio’s waiver request be denied.


Diana Woodbridge
12620 Cedar Road
Cleveland Heights, OH 44106
Jul 13th 2016 3:50 pm Response: #209457 To the Honorable Secretary Burwell and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services:

Please find the attached commentary from Care Alliance Health Center in regards to the proposed Healthy Ohio Program 1115 Demonstration Waiver. Please do not hesitate to contact Care Alliance with any questions.

Evan Goldstein, MPP Manager, Communications & Collaborations
Care Alliance Health Center
1530 Saint Clair Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44114
Phone: 216-781-6228

Care Alliance Health Center is a Federally Qualified Health Center, an NCQA Level-3 Recognized Patient-Centered Medical Home, and one of the original national Health Care for the Homeless pilot programs.
Jul 14th 2016 8:16 am Response: #209501 this a vry bad idea we dont need this program thank you
Jul 14th 2016 8:57 am Response: #209517 On behalf of the 4,800 family physician, family medicine resident and medical student members of the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians, I write to express extreme concern with the Ohio Department of Medicaid’s Healthy Ohio Program 1115 Demonstration Waiver application.
As primary care physicians serving on the front lines of patient care in Ohio, we know firsthand that approval of Ohio’s waiver application would be a devastating blow to progress made in providing health care coverage to Ohio’s Medicaid and other low-income populations. In fact, the Healthy Ohio Waiver, as written, threatens coverage of over one million adult Ohioans who now have coverage – a huge step backward rather than continuation of earlier progress made possible by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid expansion.
Premiums have been a feature of Medicaid’s waiver programs in other states and have consistently resulted in program disenrollment and participation decline. That means people are not getting the health care they need. Research also shows that the cost of administering nominal co-pays or premium payment programs far exceeds the value of the premiums or co-pays collected. Furthermore, Medicaid expansion has improved care by transitioning services from expensive hospital emergency departments to less expensive outpatient settings.
Supporters of the waiver application would have you believe that Ohio’s waiver proposal is very similar to the Indiana waiver that CMS approved. The truth is Ohio’s proposal is far more drastic and harmful as Ohio’s plan locks out all participants (except pregnant women) from basic Medicaid coverage if they are unable to pay premiums. Indiana provides participants with basic Medicaid coverage if they fail to pay premiums as long as they are at or below 100% federal poverty level or if they were unable to pay the premium due to domestic
violence, living in a county with a disaster declaration, being medically frail, and other exceptions deemed necessary. Ohio offers none of these exceptions.
The bottom line – the Indiana waiver decreased the number of uninsured individuals and increased the number of individuals with Medicaid coverage. Ohio’s waiver would do the exact opposite – increase the number of uninsured and decrease the number of individuals with Medicaid coverage. This is not the direction we want to head as a state or nation.
Please reject Ohio’s 1115 waiver application for what it is – another effort to dismantle the ACA.
Jul 14th 2016 9:47 am Response: #209541 Please see the comments opposing this waiver, as expressed in the letter attached. thank you, Lois Hall, Executive Director, Ohio Public Health Association, 614-635-0207,
Jul 14th 2016 11:48 am Response: #209557 This 1115 waiver suggested by Ohio Medicaid is a VERY BAD IDEA!! This population can't even afford the basics of living already. Adding additional fees that may benefit the Governor's contributors that sponsor HSAs is VERY POOR behavior.
A better choice would be for the state to pay their copays and out of pocket expenses for treatment, so they do not end up in the hospital that costs ALL of us much more!!
Thank you for listening!
Jul 15th 2016 8:37 am Response: #209821 This 1115 waiver suggested by Ohio Medicaid is a VERY BAD IDEA!! This population can't even afford the basics of living already. Adding additional fees that may benefit the Governor's contributors that sponsor HSAs is VERY POOR behavior.
A better choice would be for the state to pay their copays and out of pocket expenses for treatment, so they do not end up in the hospital that costs ALL of us much more!!
Thank you for listening!

Will Sawyer, MD
Sharonville Family Medicine
(O) 513-769-4951
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