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Conservative Group Among Supporters Disappointed Feds Rejected Controversial Medicaid Waiver Request

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Karen Kasler
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The state held two public hearings this spring to gather input on the "Healthy Ohio" waiver before submitting it to the federal government.

The federal government has rejected a proposal that would have required about a million Ohio Medicaid recipients to pay premiums for their coverage on Friday. Now, backers of that idea are wondering what’s next.

The “Healthy Ohio” program would have allowed the state to charge some Medicaid participants premiums of up to $99 annually and suspend coverage for non-pregnant recipients who don’t pay.  Greg Lawson with the conservative Buckeye Institute supported the idea. “I think that there was a lot of fear out there, but what the practical implications are would, I think, be a lot different.”

He says the program would have helped recipients transition off Medicaid, and that there were safeguards in place to ensure vulnerable people wouldn’t lose coverage – and he says he’ll be watching lawmakers and the state budget to see what the next step will be to curb Medicaid costs.

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