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Officials must be sincere in plan to end medical backlog

While it is always tempting for new administrations to throw the previous administration under the bus as problems are discovered, it appears there may be some reason for Ohio Medicaid Director Maureen Corcoran to be frustrated. There is a backlog of more than 70,000 applications from Ohioans seeking Medicaid benefits.

Progress is being made, and it appears as though many folks are receiving care under a presumption of eligibility, but federal officials remain concerned.

“Unfortunately, that’s another one of those things I’m having to clean up,” Corcoran told lawmakers last week. “We have been notified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that they’ll be putting us under a plan of correction for this because it has not been remedied.”

According to a report in The Columbus Dispatch, the backlog was at one point 110,000 applications.

Corcoran called that “not a new problem but one which was left unattended to, so our first objective is, first of all we are not going to blame the counties.”

Good. Local officials have enough on their plates to pay the price for bureaucrats in Columbus having failed to have any sense of urgency in carrying out their responsibilities.

Corcoran had better not be simply paying lip service to the need to change all that.

“Once we get this caught up, we can’t afford to end up back where we were,” she said. “It’s causing a great deal of pressure on the counties, as well as causing people to wait unacceptably long amounts of time.”

Let us hope she and those working with her are sincere.

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