Religious Leaders Concerned With Opposition to Medicaid Expansion


UPDATED: Tuesday April 9, 2013 12:06 AM

A group of Ohio Republicans reportedly will unveil a plan Tuesday that would do away with Governor John Kasich's proposed Medicaid expansion.  That decision has some religious leaders concerned.

Ellen Baumgartner says she feels like medicaid expansion is a no-brainer.

"It seems to me it's a win-win situation," she said.

That's exactly what she told a crowd tonight in Columbus that came together to support Medicaid expansion in Ohio.

It was hosted by the group BREAD, people of different faiths who come together for a variety of causes.

Baumgartner told supporters that her family could have benefited in a big way from an expansion of Medicaid, after her son-in-law got sick recently.

"Without my help they could have faced losing their home, mounting medical bills. They have insurance, but with a $5,000 deductible per person and their income level, they don't have a lot of resources to pay for that," she said.

Governor John Kasich proposed the Medicaid expansion, which would cover 275 thousand adults who don't have health insurance. But House GOP leaders have reportedly decided to reject $13 billion over the next several years as part of an expansion of Medicaid offered by the federal government.

The federal government would have picked up the tab for 3 years, courtesy of Obamacare.

"If we vote against this legislation with the intent of voting against Obamacare, we're not really hurting President Obama, we're hurting the poor families of our community," said Bishop William Polley of Zion Christian Assembly.

On the other side of the debate, one Republican lawmaker told, The Columbus Dispatch, that she had concerns about using federal money for private insurance.

"We have a trillion-dollar deficit. It's a concern that we are continuing to add more debt," Rep. Anne Gonzales, a Republican from Westerville, said.

10TV has learned that Republicans plan to hold a press conference Tuesday afternoon to explain their decision.

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