In a letter to Governor John Kasich, 30 health care advocacy organizations, coalitions, and provider organizations urged the Governor to help protect Ohioans’ rights to health care by asking Congress not to repeal the Affordable Care Act without a clear replacement plan in place that makes health care better for everyone. An estimated 964,000 Ohioans would lose coverage by 2019 if the Affordable Care Act is repealed.
In a December 2 letter, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy asked the nation’s governors and insurance commissioners to give their input and recommendations as Congress considers health care reform. Governor Kasich, who has championed Medicaid expansion in Ohio, has the opportunity to advocate that the program’s core benefits be maintained, including coverage for families with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty line.
The advocates and providers asked Governor Kasich to call for Congress to assure that any plan to replace the Affordable Care Act include a number of key protections, including protection against discrimination based on pre-existing condition, protection against gender discrimination on coverage or premium cost, the ability for young people up to age 26 to remain covered on their parents’ health policy, financial assistance to make health coverage affordable, and protections against annual and lifetime dollar caps, among others.
“Thanks to Governor Kasich’s leadership, 381,000 Ohioans have gained health coverage through the expansion of Medicaid,” said Steve Wagner, Executive Director of Universal Health Care Action Network of Ohio, one of the organizations that signed on to the letter. “Governor Kasich should now tell Congress how important it is to assure that everyone has access to affordable, quality health care. Keeping people’s insurance protections and their health care coverage is critical to a healthy Ohio.”