Issues > Affordable Care Act

President Biden offers ACA coverage to uninsured during COVID-19 pandemic

Special Enrollment Period for uninsured
or for those who may change their coverage
through the ACA: February 15, 2021 - May 15, 2021

2.15.2021 - The Biden Administration took a crucial step by opening a special health care enrollment period to ensure everyone has access to health care that meets their needs during the pandemic. Reopening the health care exchange is an important first step in responding to the pandemic.

The special health care enrollment period
is open now and ends on May 15, 2021.
Visit today to get covered
or change your plan 

For now, please visit before May 15th to get the coverage you and your family need. If you’re already covered, then please talk to your family and friends to make sure they’ve heard about the special enrollment period and have the coverage they need, too.


Biden Moves to Open Health Insurance Marketplace, Counter Trump on Abortion

The new president is departing from his predecessor by
reopening due to COVID-19 and taking aim
at abortion-related funding restrictions.
 U.S. News & World Report | Chelsea Cirruzzo

1.28.2021 President Joe Biden signed an executive order Thursday to open a special enrollment period for the federal health insurance marketplace, offering millions of uninsured people a clear pathway to get coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The move comes after former President Donald Trump declined to open a special enrollment period for the marketplace created under the Affordable Care Act, resisting calls by lawmakers and insurers to do so due to the pandemic. Biden on Thursday also acted to rescind a rule barring internationship nonprofits that perform or promote abortion from receiving funding from the U.S – a policy reinstated by Trump and one typically put in place by presidents along party lines.

To read more, please visit here.

Supreme Court Signals Obamacare Will Stand

In hearing oral arguments, two conservative justices
indicated they were unlikely to scrap
the entire Affordable Care Act.

U.S. News & World Report | Lisa Hagan

11.10.2020 With a new 6-3 conservative majority, the Supreme Court on Tuesday considered the fate of the Affordable Care Act for the third time since the health care law was enacted in 2010. But two conservative justices, including Chief Justice John Roberts, indicated that they were unlikely to scrap the entire law even if the individual mandate is deemed unconstitutional.

To read more, visit here.

Ohio Republicans In Congress Won’t Stand Up
To Trump To Protect Health Care

4.03.19 - Following the U.S. House vote Wednesday to condemn the Trump administration’s legal efforts to overturn the Affordable Care Act, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper released the following statement:ACA - The Party that ended your health care

“Steve Chabot, Dave Joyce, Troy Balderson, Mike Turner: they all campaigned claiming that they would protect Ohioans’ health care. They all promised to protect pre-existing conditions. Today they had their chance and didn’t. Ohioans across our state would face devastating consequences if these legal efforts to overturn the Affordable Care Act succeed — so much so that even Republican Attorney General Dave Yost filed a brief in the case, advocating to protect 1.9 million non-elderly Ohioans with pre-existing conditions. It’s a shame Ohioans can’t trust these congressmen to keep their word.”

Will Yost Protect Ohioans’ Health Care After New Trump Attack?

3.26.19 - COLUMBUS — After spending his 2018 campaign telling Ohioans that the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land, it’s time for Attorney General Dave Yost to protect the ACA after the Trump administration launched another attack Monday that would imperil access to health care for approximately ACA - Medicaid = Healthier Ohioans5.1 million Ohioans with pre-existing conditions.

“If the Trump administration were to get its way and rip access to affordable health care away from millions of hard-working Ohioans, those families would be forced to once again live in fear of financial ruin and bankruptcy in the face of medical catastrophe. It’s time for Donald Trump to stop playing political games with people’s lives,” said Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper. “Dave Yost has said he believes ACA litigation was resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court in King v. Burwell. He has a duty to do his part to protect the lives and well-being of everyday Ohioans by joining the lawsuit to oppose the Trump administration’s obsessive, reckless, relentless attacks on affordable health care.”

According to the nonprofit, nonpartisan consumer health advocacy organization Families USA, undoing the Affordable Care Act would have the following impacts on Ohio:

  • Approximately 5.1 million Ohioans with pre-existing conditions like asthma, diabetes, and cancer could once again be denied affordable, comprehensive coverage that actually covers their health care needs.
  • Ohio stands to lose $48 billion in federal funding for Medicaid, CHIP, and financial assistance for marketplace coverage.
    • Over the course of a year and a half alone, Medicaid expansion brought $3.7 billion in federal dollars into the state economy. The impact of that lost federal Medicaid funding would have a ripple effect throughout the state economy, affecting hospitals, other health care providers and businesses.
    • Approximately 174,000 Ohioans who currently get financial assistance to help pay for their health coverage would lose this help and would no longer have affordable coverage options. In 2016, Ohioans receiving financial assistance saw their monthly premiums reduced on average $250 thanks to this help.
  • Women in Ohio would once again be charged more for health coverage just for being a woman.
    • Prior to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), women in Ohio were charged as much as 50 percent more than men for the same coverage.
  • Ohioans would once again face a world where insurance plans routinely cap the most they will pay for someone’s health care in a year and in their lifetime, effectively cutting off coverage for the sickest individuals when they most need it.
    • Roughly 4.2 million Ohioans (including 1.1 million children) saw lifetime limits on coverage disappear thanks to the ACA’s ban on these practices.
  • The now-historically low rate of uninsured people would spike, with the number of uninsured in Ohio increasing 155 percent within a couple years.
    • This would reverse the immense progress that has been made to expand coverage.
    • Between 2013 and 2015, the number of uninsured in Ohio declined 41 percent, and the uninsured rate among working Ohioans saw a 39 percent decline.

Americans Health Care Under Attack...AGAIN

3.23.19 - As we celebrate the signing of the Affordable Care Act, once again, the Trump Administration and the GOP are going after the ACA. This time, however, they have declared war on the ACA through the Department of Justice: Instead of repealing parts of the ACA, the DOJ - with the blessing of Trump - is now asking the courts to invalidate the entire law.

This would mean that millions of Americans would loose their health care coverage including those with pre-existing conditions, those who received coverage through the Medicaid expansion and those who purchased private coverage subsidized by the federal government.

While Trump was tweeting and commenting that the GOP would be the 'Party of Healthcare', Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell advised Trump that the Senate would not be taking up any health care plan until AFTER the 2020 election - effectively saying the GOP is now 'The Party That Ended Your Health Care' by retreating back to repeal with no replacement. In the meantime, the DOJ continues to push for the rejection of the entire ACA law through the court process which means no health care plan for millions of Americans.

For further information, please read the following articles:

So where is Ohio's Senator Rob Portman on this issue?

He has been very tight-lipped. It is time to call Senator Portman - EVERY DAY TWICE A DAY - to ask him:

  • Washington DC - 202.224.3353
  • Toledo - 419.259.3895
  • Toll Free in Ohio - 800.205.OHIO 

REPORT: Medicaid expansion benefits health, finances
The Associated Press 

12.31.16 - COLMBUS - A report has found the state’s 2014 Medicaid expansion resulted in health and financial benefits to many poor Ohioans.

The findings were contained in a report created at the request of the General Assembly and released Friday, The Columbus Dispatch reported.

Among 702,000 who gained coverage as of May 2016, it showed:

— 75 percent had been previously uninsured

— 27 percent were diagnosed with at least one chronic condition after obtaining coverage

— About a third screened positive for depression and anxiety disorders

— 32 percent were diagnosed with substance abuse or dependence

New enrollees typically were unmarried white men with a high-school diploma or less. Forty-three percent were employed.

The analysis was based on a telephone survey of more than 7,500 Medicaid beneficiaries and a review of medical records.

“This report clearly illustrates the benefits of extending Medicaid coverage to more low-income Ohioans, including helping to identify and control expensive chronic health conditions, while also making it easier for them to find and keep a job,” state Medicaid director Barbara Sears told the newspaper.

Ohio was one of 31 states to expand Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act, which President-elect Donald Trump and congressional Republicans have said they want to repeal. The expansion allowed coverage for those making up to 138 percent of poverty, or $16,243 a year for an individual. Previous eligibility was limited to poor children, parents and the disabled.

Under current law, the federal government picks up the full cost of newly eligible beneficiaries this year, 95 percent in 2017 and 90 percent in 2020.

Expansion pushed Ohio’s Medicaid rolls to more than 3 million people, for a total cost of $25.3 billion in the fiscal year that ended June 30, the paper reported. That was up from 2.4 million people and $20 billion the previous year.

The study found it improved access to physical and mental health care, improved overall health and reduced costly emergency room visits.

According to the report, the expansion has pushed the share of uninsured people among poor working-age adults down to 14 percent, the lowest ever reported.


Medicaid expansion affects about 12,000 in Sandusky area
Tom Jackson | Sandusky Register

4.20.16 - The expansion of Medicaid in Ohio provided access to health care for almost 12,000 people in four counties in the Sandusky area, according to figures released by the Ohio Department of Medicaid.

Erie County added the most additional Medicaid users, 4,522. But substantial numbers of new enrollees also were recorded by Huron County (3,037), Sandusky County (2,730) and Ottawa County (1,635).

One of the major components of the Affordable Care Act, also known as "Obama Care," was to expand health care coverage by expanding the number of people enrolled in Medicaid. The ACA including funding to encourage states to expand their Medicaid rolls, and coverage was to be offered to people who didn't quality before, including low-income people without children.

Medicaid expansion is optional, and not all states have agreed to carry it out.

According to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 32 states and the District of Columbia have accepted the expansion of Medicaid, but 19 states have not accepted it, at least so far.

Ohio is one of the states that accepted Medicaid expansion. Gov. John Kasich favored Medicaid expansion and pushed it through, against the opposition of many members of his own party.

Proponents of Medicaid expansion argue that it helps hospitals by providing payments for people who otherwise would not have coverage, reducing the need for uncompensated charity care.

Last October, Firelands Regional Medical Center reported that as an apparent result of the Affordable Care Act, the hospital's charity care and bad debt had gone from $7.7 million in 2012 to $3.5 million in 2015, while the number of uninsured patient accounts fell during the same period from about 15,000 to about 10,000.

Medicaid expansion accounted for much of that, with the new health insurance exchanges set up by the ACA playing a smaller role, Martin Tursky, president and CEO of Firelands, told the Register.

Medicaid expansion proponents also argue expansion improved the health of many patients who had no coverage before, and who had to deal with health care issues by showing up in hospital emergency rooms when a health problem presented itself.

Dr. James Misak, a Cleveland family medicine doctor, told reporters Wednesday on a telephone conference call hosted by U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, that the MetroHealth hospital system received permission in 2013 to carry out an early expansion of Medicaid in Cuyahoga County. (Ohio's Medicaid expansion did not take effect until the beginning of 2014.)

Misak said the Cuyahoga County initiative extended coverage to more than 28,000 Cuyahoga County residents. Independent research showed that the local expansion improved control of diabetes and high blood pressure among the patients, resulting in them using the emergency room less, he said.

Medicaid enrollment in Ohio (as of February 2016)

           Location                Added by expansion     Total enrolled

Erie County                        4,522                             18,421

Huron County                      3,037                              15,030

Sandusky County                2,730                              13,755

Ottawa County                    1,635                                7,104

        State of Ohio                      661,000                           2,944,055