COLUMBUS – Today, Rep. John Patterson (D-Jefferson) applauded the state Controlling Board’s decision to approve Medicaid expansion in Ohio. The opportunity to expand Medicaid to 138% of the federal poverty level is a key part of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Controlling Board was tasked with approving funding for the measure after the state legislature’s 10 months of inaction and nine false, self-imposed deadlines.

“Over the last couple of weeks, my office has received an overwhelming number of phone calls from constituents who received a postcard from Americans for Prosperity—a Tea Party organization—urging them to ask me to oppose Medicaid expansion,” said Rep. Patterson.  “The postcards, sent by this right-wing group, have deceived many into thinking I am opposed to Medicaid expansion. Today’s great news gives me the perfect opportunity to set the record straight. I am whole-heartedly in support of this expansion.”

“Expanding Medicaid coverage to the working poor means that hundreds of thousands of Ohioans who would otherwise have no healthcare coverage, will now be eligible. I support expansion not only because it is morally prudent, but because it is fiscally responsible. “With a full expansion of Medicaid, Ohio will receive billions of dollars in direct funding from the federal government, millions of dollars in revenues, and significant increases in economic development throughout the state from savings to hospitals, employers, and low-income healthcare beneficiaries.”

For months, Democratic House members, advocates and Ohio citizens expressed frustration with Republican lawmakers who announced nine false deadlines for action on Medicaid. Following the majority party’s refusal to pass Medicaid expansion through the state biennial budget, G.O.P. leadership declined to work out the legislative components of expansion through the committee process over the legislative summer break.

Medicaid expansion is a main component of the ACA which takes a proactive approach to providing healthcare to Americans. In Ohio, Medicaid expansion will provide healthcare coverage for more than 275,000 low income citizens and create some 28,000 new jobs in our state.

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