By: Bobbie Celeste, PhD, Director of Professional Affairs
Late Friday, we heard the Ohio House does not have the votes to pass Medicaid expansion and extend health coverage to 275,000 Ohioans in the state budget as recommended by Governor Kasich, most major newspapers, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and all the health and human service advocacy groups.
Many of these 275,000 individuals will be able to access mental health and addiction services for the first time. As psychologists we know that mental health and addiction treatment keeps men and women in their jobs, protects children, and saves unnecessary emergency room visits and prison incarcerations. From a purely economic standpoint, independent research shows that in addition to helping families, extending Medicaid health care coverage to the working poor, contributes to the overall health of Ohio’s economy. That’s one reason the Ohio Chamber and papers such as the Columbus Dispatch and Cleveland Plain Dealer endorse the Medicaid extension to more citizens.
There’s still time to get the 50 votes we need, but we need you to defend keeping Medicaid expansion in the budget.
Thousands of Ohioans are coming together at the Statehouse to stand up and make our voices heard. More than ever before, we need you to show up this Thursday at noon at the Statehouse to make sure we extend mental health coverage to as many Ohioans as we can.
Whether you can help this time or not, thanks for all you do for the mental health of Ohio!