April 6, 2015

SCHS chief medical officer: Expanded Medicaid a plus for Ohioans

Giesele Robinson Greene, M.D., chief medical officer of the Sisters of Charity Health System, penned a letter to the editor published Sunday April 5 by The Plain Dealer about the positive effects of Medicaid expansion in Ohio and the importance of continuing it. 

As seen in The Plain Dealer and on Cleveland.com:

Expanded Medicaid a plus for Ohioans

The number of Americans without health insurance has dropped by 35 percent since implementation of the Affordable Care Act. More than 16 million people have gained health insurance since open enrollment began in 2013. That's the biggest improvement in 40 years.

Health coverage has expanded to our most vulnerable Ohioans, which is good policy for many reasons. The vast majority of people with health insurance have a usual source of care and they are significantly more likely to see a doctor. Individuals with coverage fare much better on key health measures. And Medicaid beneficiaries are much less likely than the uninsured to report unmet health care needs.

More health coverage promises a future for Ohio with healthier people who are empowered to engage preventive health services through primary care relationships. Settling for emergency care only is often too late or too temporizing to restore wellness and well-being.

Medicaid expansion has been good for Ohio. As Bill Ryan did in his Feb. 1 Plain Dealer letter (“Expansion of Medicaid boosts state's economy”), we at the Sisters of Charity Health System applaud Gov. John Kasich for his stance and efforts in expanding Medicaid. Expansion helps 431,000 Ohioans, including 95,000 from Northeast Ohio, have access to the care they need. Medicaid expansion is good for, needed by and demanded by Ohioans.

Giesele Robinson Greene, Cleveland
Dr. Greene is chief medical officer of the Sisters of Charity Health System.

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