Lawmakers should OK Medicaid expansion

We, the undersigned, stand together in asking our state representatives and senators to include funding for Medicaid expansion in the state budget, and we urge the members of our congregations to contact their legislators and voice their opinions.

We applaud Gov. Kasich’s leadership in including Medicaid expansion in his proposed budget. In addition to the moral good of extending access to Medicaid and thereby proper and timely healthcare to 600,000 more Ohioans, independent studies have supported the economic justification for this expansion. Employers and all insured Ohioans will benefit from lower premiums, and medical providers will be able to provide new jobs in our communities as a result of increased services and decreased unreimbursed emergency care.

Many of us have already addressed this important issue with independent letters. We take the additional step of writing this joint appeal to underscore our collective support for expanding Medicaid, and to encourage all members of our faith communities to make their voices heard directly by their legislators. Our representatives in Columbus need to know they have our support when they in turn support the governor’s plan.

The Rt. Rev. Thomas E. Breidenthal, D. Phil.

Bishop, Diocese of Southern Ohio, The Episcopal Church

Rev. Elizabeth Eaton

Bishop, Northeast Ohio Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

The Rt. Rev. Mark Hollingsworth, Jr.

Bishop, Diocese of Ohio, The Episcopal Church

Rev. Callon W. Holloway, Jr.

Bishop, Southern Ohio Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Bishop John L. Hopkins

Bishop, East Ohio Conference, The United Methodist Church

Rev. Dr. Marcus C. Lohrmann

Bishop, Northwest Ohio Synod, Evangelical Church in America

Bishop Gregory V. Palmer

Bishop, West Ohio Conference, The United Methodist Church