Mercy Health: Medicaid expansion helps people get the care they need

CEO Donald Kline said 20 percent of Mercy Health patients are on Medicaid and another 50 percent are on Medicare

Humility of Mary Health Partners has a new name, which became official on Monday morning.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV/AP) – Now 24 hours after House Republicans released a bill to replace the Affordable Care Act, a local hospital branch said it continues “to support increased access to health care.”

The bill would continue Obama’s expansion of Medicaid to additional low-earning Americans until 2020. Beginning then, states adding Medicaid recipients would no longer receive the additional federal funds the statute has provided.

More significantly, Republicans would overhaul the entire federal-state Medicaid program, changing its open-ended federal financing to a limit based on enrollment and costs in each state, a move likely to cause funding cuts.

Donald Kline, CEO of Mercy Health Youngstown, issued a statement Tuesday afternoon.

He said 20 percent of Mercy Health patients are on Medicaid and another 50 percent are on Medicare.

Kline goes on to say in Mercy Health’s experience, Medicaid and Medicare expansion has helped people get the care they need.

Ohio Governor John Kasich is expressing concerns over the proposal. He doesn’t want Medicaid coverage to be phased out without a viable alternative.

Kasich said the replacement plan needs to control health care costs but the fix needs to come from both Republicans and Democrats.

The new GOP plan would repeal the current law’s unpopular fines on people who don’t carry health insurance. It also would replace income-based subsidies, which the law provides to help millions of Americans pay premiums, with age-based tax credits that may be skimpier for people with low incomes. Those payments would phase out for higher-earning people.