Ohio governor candidates on the issues: Medicaid

On Sept. 19, governor candidates Republican Mike DeWine and Democrat Richard Cordray are taking part in their first debate at the University of Dayton.

The Dayton Daily News, WHIO-TV and WHIO Radio are the media partners for the debate.

The debate will be moderated by News Center 7 anchor James Brown. Questions will be asked by Dayton Daily News Columbus Bureau reporter Laura Bischoff, News Center 7 reporter and WHIO Reports host Jim Otte and University of Dayton assistant political science professor Christopher Devine.

Related: Dayton to host first governor debate at UD

Ahead of the debate, we are taking a look at where DeWine and Cordray stand on key issues such as Medicaid

Q: Medicaid is the single biggest payer for drug treatment services and roughly 35 percent of the 725,000 Ohioans who signed up for Medicaid under expansion suffer from a drug/alcohol problem. Will you continue expanded Medicaid? If not, how will you help those 250,000 Ohioans receive services?

Richard Cordray: As governor I will continue expanded Medicaid. Ohio's adoption and implementation of the Medicaid expansion has expanded access to affordable health care and bolstered the key medical sector of Ohio's economy.

This has been good for Ohioans, but more still needs to be done.

Our uninsured rate is the 13th highest in the nation. And the state legislature remains opposed to the Medicaid expansion, seeking to eliminate it or freeze enrollment, putting these benefits at risk.

We must ensure that our most vulnerable continue to receive access to healthcare. We can reduce inefficiencies in cost management, but access and affordability problems cannot be wished away.

The coverage gaps are real, and we must afford basic health care rights to all Ohioans.

Mike DeWine: The two major challenges facing our healthcare system in Ohio are reducing costs, while assuring access to those most in need, and the opioid crisis.

As we re-assess our healthcare system, we need Ohio solutions for Ohio problems. We need a new look at the expanded Medicaid program to assure it is affordable and available for those who need it most, including poor children and seniors.

Medicaid expansion, as structured today, however, is not sustainable, and we need to come up with a solution that works for Ohio.

The Trump Administration is giving waivers to re-do it, and as governor, I plan to seek one to design our own program. In that re-design, there will be a work requirement, and we will put a focus on wellness and prevention and getting those addicted to drugs into treatment.

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