Medicaid Expansion

"Now is the time to answer 
God’s call - to stand beside
people who are in need, to join
our voices with those of our most vulnerable neighbors, to tell our law makers to vote ‘yes’ for Medicaid Expansion, and to provide basic health care
 for the citizens in Ohio." 

- Bishop Gregory Palmer

Governor Kasich has proposed expanding Medicaid eligibility in Ohio to include those making up to 138% of the federal poverty level (eligibility is currently set at 90% of poverty). This expansion would make Medicaid available to a single person with income under $15,415; a married couple making under $20,879; or a family of four with income below $31,809 per year.

What will Medicaid Expansion Do?

1. Improve the health of Ohioans...

  • Extend coverage to over 275,000 Ohioans in the first two years.
  • Provide the single largest investment in mental health and addiction treatment services, $105 million over two years. 

2. Help Ohio's economy...

  • The federal government will pay 100% of costs for newly eligible Ohioans for the first 3 years, gradually decreasing to 90% starting in 2020.
  • Medicaid expansion will bring over $20 billion in tax dollars back to the state of Ohio.
  • According to a study by The Ohio State University, expanding Medicaid will generate between $2.7 and $2.8 billion in state revenue between 2014-2020.
  • According to OSU, expanding Medicaid will create more than 27,000 new Ohio jobs.
  • According to OSU, expanding Medicaid will reduce health care costs for Ohio employers and residents by $285 million and $1.1 billion, respectively.

So, what happens if we don't expand Medicaid? Click here to find out!

Why Does the Church Care?

1. The story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:29-37 begins when a lawyer asks Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus answers by telling the story of a traveler who was robbed, beaten, and left for dead. People passed him by, averting their gaze, and not taking the risk to help. Finally, a man from the area of Samaria walked by, saw the man, and stopped to help. The man from Samaria used his resources to clean the man’s wounds, used his transportation to take the man to an inn, and used his money to pay for the man’s stay at the inn. The man from Samaria is the model of what it means for people of faith to be a good neighbor. It is to share our food and water, share our transportation, share our money, to provide the basic needs for people in their time of need. In God’s model, to be a neighbor is to show compassion. Expanding Medicaid shows compassion to the most vulnerable people.

Take Action Now!

Make your voice heard! Contact the Ohio Speaker of the House William G. Batchelder at (614) 466-8140 and Ohio Senate President Keith Faber (614) 466-7584. These leaders will likely be the deciding factor in Medicaid expansion!

2.  Over the years, delegates to UM General Conferences have consistently affirmed that health care is a basic human right. Psalm 146 speaks of the God “who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free; the LORD opens the eyes of the blind.”  Providing the care needed to maintain health, prevent disease, and restore health after injury or illness is a responsibility each person owes others and government owes to all, a responsibility government ignores at its peril. In Ezekiel 34:4a, God points out the failures of the leadership of Israel to care for the weak: “You have not strengthened the weak, you have not healed the sick, you have not bound up the injured.” As a result all suffer.  Like police and fire protection, health care is best funded through the government’s ability to tax each person equitably and directly fund the provider entities. (UM Social Principle ¶162V)

More Resources

  1. Letter from Bishop Gregory Palmer
  2. Franklin County Medicaid Expansion Fact Sheet (for other counties, click here)
  3. Analysis of Like Effects of Expanding Medicaid in Ohio—a Study completed by The Ohio State University, Urban Institute, REMI and HPIO
  4. Faith-based and Policy Talking Points
  5. Press Conference Statement from Bishop Palmer
  6. Medicaid Expansion Map of Ohio by County
  7. Medicaid Expansion Bulletin Insert
  8. Photo Gallery
  9. Video of Press Conference