Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Monday, February 1, 2021

Online Project Highlights How Medicaid Changed Lives in Appalachian Ohio

Posted By on Mon, Feb 1, 2021 at 9:25 AM

click to enlarge DAN KECK/FLICKRCC
  • Dan Keck/FlickrCC

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Some rural Ohioans are part of a multistate project sharing how the Medicaid program has changed their lives.

Appalachians for Medicaid is an online storybook featuring people and families from Ohio and three other states.



Steve Wagner, executive director for the Universal Healthcare Action Network of Ohio, said the project highlights how Medicaid is keeping people healthy, employed and part of their community.

"We are always looking to understand people's experience with Medicaid, or not having health insurance and how that has impacted them, so that we can better inform the policymakers and create some positive change," Wagner explained.

Stories featured in the digital storybook include Ohioans who've been able to pay for surgeries that allowed them to stay on the job, and others who've received life-saving treatment for opioid addiction.

An estimated one in four Ohioans relies on the Medicaid program for medical coverage.

Ohio expanded Medicaid to households with incomes below 138% of the federal poverty line in 2014. Since then, the state has seen a 46% drop in its uninsured rate.

Wagner noted the program will continue to be crucial as the nation emerges from the pandemic.

"Medicaid needs to stay that helping hand for when people begin to struggle, when the economy has a big downturn and people's wages go down, or they've lost their jobs," Wagner urged. "It needs to be there to assure that we have healthy people in healthy communities."

Wagner added sharing these stories can help build regional support for defending the program. According to a 2018 state report, people age 19 to 64 in the Appalachian region of Ohio are more likely than people in other parts of the state to have high blood pressure, diabetes or obesity.

Tags: , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club


Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.


Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.


Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

May 5, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation