Public health officials and counties across the state are reassessing social service levies to determine how best to meet residents’ needs in light of the sweeping changes brought about by the Affordable Care Act (Source: “Decision needed on indigent care levy,” Cincinnati Enquirer, May 24, 2014)
Hamilton County commissioners, for example, are weighing the future of a property tax levy that's long served as a health safety net for the county's poorest residents.
Since Ohio opted to expand Medicaid to all residents earning less than 138 percent of the poverty level, funds that were used to provide medical services to residents with lower incomes could potentially be used to address upstream causes of poor health.
"Counties now have greater flexibility to use their local levies for whatever non-medical needs are in their county," said Greg Moody, director of Gov. John Kasich's Office of Health Transformation. "A lot seem to be identifying housing. Some are focusing on employment services, which are things not covered by Medicaid but are important overall to maintaining good health."