Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Kasich, new TV ads, Obamacare and Medicaid expansion in Ohio

Despite the fact that it's summer when political things usually slow down, there's a lot of activity going on when it comes to Medicaid and Obamacare...

At a rally yesterday in Columbus, Ohio Gov. John Kasich continued his push for an expansion of Medicaid and enrolling up to 366,000 new members by the end of the year.

The General Assembly rejected this expansion as part of the state's two-year budget which they passed last month.

Jason Hart at MediaTrackers has good coverage of the event starting with:

Governor John Kasich stuck to his practiced Medicaid expansion pitch – a mix of progressive pseudo-Christianity and outright falsehoods about the program’s funding – during a speech at a July 9 Statehouse rally for socialized medicine.

As his administration has done for months, the Republican governor conflated Medicaid coverage with “health care,” though 28 percent of Ohio’s office-based physicians were already refusing new Medicaid patients in 2011 and a recent study found that Medicaid coverage does not improve physical health.

Americans for Prosperity - Ohio, one of the leading critics of expanding the state's Medicaid rolls (as allowed under law), argues that expanding Medicaid rolls will push thousands of low-income Ohioans into a shoddy system at enormous cost.

"AFP will continue to educate Ohioans about the problems with Medicaid expansion. Ohioans need more health care choices, not more sub-par, bureaucrat-controlled health care and higher taxes," Eli Miller, State Director of AFP-Ohio, said.

Also yesterday, in conjunction with the AFP-Ohio efforts, broadcast and cable networks in Ohio started airing a new ad from Americans for Prosperity. The goal of the ad is to "expose the major problems with the Pres. Obama's health care law, the Affordable Care Act also known as Obamacare."

It's called “Questions,” and features the story of Julie, a mother of two who started paying close attention to her family’s health care options after her son began having seizures. The threat of shrinking options, higher premiums, and Washington bureaucrats making health care decisions leaves her with serious concerns about ObamaCare.

"The American people have serious questions and concerns about the negative impact of ObamaCare," Miller said."Ohioans are waking up to higher premiums and fewer choices, but are being told by President Obama and outside groups that everything is just fine. Well President Obama, everything isn't just fine. We feel it is important to educate Ohioans on the true consequences of government intrusion into the private health care decisions of families."

AFP-OH and state chapters across the nation plan to host events and meet-ups to further educate and provide information on the negative consequences of ObamaCare.

AFP describes itself as "a nationwide organization of citizen-leaders committed to advancing every individual’s right to economic freedom and opportunity. AFP believes reducing the size and intrusiveness of government is the best way to promote individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans."

The AFP ad competes with a national buy from the pro-Obama Organizing for Action, though both groups say the timing is coincidental.

Called "Better Coverage," the OFA ad features Stacey Lihn, who is also a young mom, and focuses on the Obamacare provision that eliminates a lifetime cap on benefits. “Thanks to Obamacare, we can now afford the care that Zoe needs. And for her, that’s a lifesaver,” she says.

Both ads are going after a key demographic in the health care debate, as this quote from a 2010 Time article explains:

Women make the primary health care decisions in two-thirds of American households. They account for 80 cents out of every dollar spent in drugstores and are likelier than men to choose the family's health insurance. Even when both parents work, wives shoulder 75% of domestic responsibilities, including making the kids' doctor appointments and getting them there on time. "Women are the main brokers of health care in the United States," says Dr. William Norcross, a family physician and faculty member at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine. "This has long been the case and is probably true elsewhere in the world too."

But be ready, Ohio, because the push for Ohio to expand the Medicaid program and the ad wars on Obamacare are just getting started.

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