Under Governor John Kasich’s proposal,
Medicaid benefits would extend to Ohioans with incomes up to 138 percent of the
federal poverty level. Director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and
Addiction Services, Tracy Plouch says this would allow many working people,
struggling with addiction, to access clinical services...
might include detoxification, counseling, assessments or examining the proper
drug regimen for individuals or medication assisted treatment if someone is
struggling with an opiate addiction."
Plouch says Medicaid expansion would
bring $75 million in benefits to Ohioans. The governor wants to take advantage
of the federal aid to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act but
lawmakers - many concerned about future costs - have not approved Kasich's
In the meantime, expansion supporters have started a petition drive
to get the matter on the November 2014 ballot.
Ohio has 53 local boards that handle
mental health and addiction recovery services. Most use a combination of local
tax levies and state subsidies to fund clinical services. Plouch says Medicaid
expansion would help them add the services to help those in recovery rebuild
the governor’s plan goes through, boards then could redirect their existing
dollars away from the clinical service needs and focus on things like housing
and prevention partnerships and employment supports."
With nearly a million addicted
Ohioans, Plouch says it's crucial to have effective services available when
people decide to get help...
the addiction to drugs or to alcohol has the very quick ability to take over
your ability to function as a responsible member of society."
ODMHAS estimates that in the past year,
two to three percent of Ohioans needed help for drug addiction, and twice as many
- six percent - needed treatment for alcohol abuse.