On February 19th, Ohio Governor John Kasich delivered his annual State of the State Address and spoke in detail of his state budget proposal which includes the expansion of Medicaid in Ohio.
Medicaid is a state and federal funded health care program that serves an estimated 2.2 million low-income, elderly and disabled Ohioans. Under the Affordable Care Act, states have the option to expand Medicaid eligibiliy and receive additional federal funds that would increase access to preventative care and treatment services to hundreds of thousands uninsured individuals.
We all recognize early detection is the best tool we have in the battle against breast cancer. This is why the Columbus Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure supports the Governor’s plan to expand Ohio’s Medicaid program.
Ohio currently ranks 4th in the nation in breast cancer mortality. By bringing these federal funds to Ohio, the state could allocate more money to programs like the Breast and Cervical Cancer Project (BCCP) which provides breast cancer screening and diagnostic services to women who are underserved or underinsured in Ohio.
In the state of Ohio, an estimated 8,990 women were diagnosed with breast cancer and 1,750 women died from the disease in 2012. Thousands of women are currently delaying or foregoing breast cancer screenings because they have no way to pay for the service. As a result many of these women end up with late-stage cancers where the cost of their treatment can be five times more expensive than if the cancer is caught earlier and the odds of survival are considerably lower.
Despite the program’s critical importance to those low-income populations, the current state budget appropriation to BCCP is only enough to reach 5 percent of the eligible population.
Our state policy makers have the opportunity to support a program that promotes prevention and early detection and will save lives. Rejecting the expansion of Medicaid in Ohio will only send the money to another state. These women won’t disappear and neither will their cancers just because the additional funding is rejected.
The members of the Ohio House of Representatives need to hear your support for Medicaid Expansion in Ohio. Click here for a list of Representatives and express your support for Medicaid expansion and the increased access to breast screening that it will bring Ohio’s women.
For more information visit www.ohiomedicaidalliance.org