[Department of Public Health and Environment] Associate Director Kristi Wrightsaid,  “We [have identified] a number of areas of funding that could be spent to address this crisis of public health and to address the impacts on our economy.”
The health director says no state funds will be used to provide medical care to undocumented immigrants under Obama’s policy. Wright spoke to WKBN. “We are not going to be able to fund the kind of services we need for the safety of Ohioans and public health in Ohio.”
Wright says she’s directed state agencies to use their own funds to provide health care to immigrants now under Obama’s policy, starting now. “As a new public health agency, I want to make sure that money is put into places that have the capacity for providing those important services,” Wright says.
Wright says if those funds are not used after Dec. 5, the Medicaid expansion will be delayed until January 2019. “We have seen an overall reduction in services for low-income people when we’ve been hit with the most difficult budget environment in the past few years. So if we can’t put that into the system we’ll go into a similar situation.”
Ohio residents can still apply for Medicaid if they have family members currently covered under the expansion program. The insurance plan’s eligibility limit remains the same.
An advocacy group called the American Civil Liberties Union is suing the Obama administration over implementation of the new policy. This will delay coverage for more than 20 million people currently covered by Medicaid, according to the ACLU.