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Want to end the opioid epidemic? Start by freezing Medicaid expansion

Last week, the Ohio Senate opted to freeze the state’s massive ObamaCare Medicaid expansion, ending new enrollment after July 1, 2018. This budget provision — which is now being negotiated with the Ohio House — has the potential to positively change the fate of hundreds of thousands of truly vulnerable Ohioans, including those struggling against a drug epidemic that is ravaging the state.

Ohio’s proposed Medicaid expansion freeze would stop massive cost overruns due to skyrocketing enrollment. The Kasich administration promised that the program would not exceed 447,000 able-bodied, working-age adults; as of last month, enrollment has surpassed 725,000.

The surge has led to out-of-control costs. The latest data show the program at $7 billion over budget and that number is expected to increase to $8 billion by the end of the year. And since the Ohio legislature can’t spend the same dollar twice, that means less funding for education, public safety, and other priorities.



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