Ohio hospitals and state lawmakers expressed concern this week that the Republican plan to repeal and replace the ACA could harm the state's successful Medicaid expansion and the financial stability of many hospitals (Source: “Republican healthcare plan's impact on Medicaid expansion worries hospitals, lawmakers,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 8, 2017).
Plans to reduce federal funding for the state-run insurance plan for low-income residents and to limit enrollment could once again increase the number of uninsured patients in the state, they fear.
"We have 36 of 220 hospitals in the state operating with negative margins in the current environment," and another 14 hospitals operate on a zero to two percent margin, said Ohio Hospital Association president and CEO Michael Abrams. "If you take a million people who are currently insured and phase them out over a couple years, you're going to cause severe problems to those providing them care."
The GOP plan would drastically change the way Medicaid is funded, changing the program to a per-capita capped allotment. For states like Ohio that expanded Medicaid eligibility, the new plan would continue to cover anyone enrolled at the end of 2019 but not if those people dropped out, or tried to re-enroll.
Ohio's senators, Democrat Sherrod Brown and Republican Rob Portman, have also expressed their concerns about the proposed healthcare plan. Portman joined three other GOP senators from Medicaid expansion states in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell expressing concern that the draft health care plan doesn't protect those who have received insurance through the federally-subsidized program.