Members of the Ohio Senate today announced the introduction of a new bipartisan bill aimed at systemic reform of Ohio’s Medicaid system. The legislation, jointly sponsored by Senators Dave Burke (R–Marysville) and Capri Cafaro (D–Hubbard), seeks to help Ohioans gain access to affordable health care while minimizing costs to Ohio and maximizing the benefit to Ohio taxpayers.
“My colleagues in the General Assembly take very seriously the need to assist struggling Ohioans with basic services that provide a hand up rather than a hand out,” said Senate President Keith Faber (R–Celina). “This bipartisan working group has given thoughtful consideration to reforms that will make the Medicaid system more efficient and sustainable over the long-term. This bipartisan bill is the next step in the process.”

“The House and Senate have spent many weeks holding hearings and listening to testimony and now is the time for action,” said Senate Minority Leader Eric H. Kearney(D-Cincinnati).  “The legislation is a good start, but only a start.  We should seize the opportunity now to encourage workforce development, protect Ohio businesses and provide health coverage to more Ohioans.”
Senators Burke and Cafaro have engaged with colleagues in the Ohio House over the last several weeks to discuss possible Medicaid reform legislation. This bill, along with a companion bill introduced today in the House, aims to reduce health care costs and define performance metrics that create accountability for the Medicaid program.
“Our goal from the beginning has been to find ways to provide more services to more people in a more efficient and cost-effective manner,” said Senator Burke. “We have to remember when it comes to Medicaid, the taxpayer is the provider. Tax dollars we spend on Medicaid are dollars we are taking away from education, economic development, and other items important to Ohio. I believe it’s possible to achieve our objectives and bring true reform to Medicaid that is cost-effective and outcome driven. This bill will enable us to determine what that looks like.”
"This legislation represents a first step toward providing health coverage to more Ohioans especially the working poor and veterans," said Senator Cafaro.  "The goal is to make sustainable reforms that improve health outcomes that contain costs and hold all parties involved accountable to continued health care and workforce innovation.  While I am encouraged by the progress we have made, there is still much work to be done. We are at a critical crossroads to take action."
Among the policy priorities:

  • Establish firm spending targets
  • Establish performance measures and targets that focus on medical outcomes
  • Increase consumer involvement in the delivery of Medicaid services
  • Remove costly legislative mandates that prohibit innovation and flexibility
  • Streamline legislative involvement in caseload
  • Invest in research and evaluation for Medicaid and the entire health care system in Ohio
  • Eliminate statutory regulations that impede the cost-effective delivery of health care
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