Proposal to charge Medicaid enrollees draws critics in Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — State officials are gathering public feedback on a proposal that would require more than 1 million low-income Ohioans to pay a new monthly cost for Medicaid health coverage.

The plan to create the so-called Healthy Ohio program has been drawing mostly criticism from health care advocates, Democrats and others who claim the proposal would burden low-income beneficiaries and cause some to drop out of the government-funded program.

But Republican state Rep. Jim Butler, of Oakwood, says critics are overlooking the plan’s efforts to get people to take healthier steps, such as preventive care, smoking cessation or weight management.

The proposal requires federal approval before the new charges could be imposed in 2018.

Republican Gov. John Kasich’s (KAY’-siks) administration plans submit the proposed waiver for federal approval in June.

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