COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Protesters staged a “die-in” Friday outside the Columbus office of Republican Senator Rob Portman. They said they were demonstrating their concern that the GOP healthcare plan could have deadly consequences.
More than 700,000 Ohioans got health insurance through Medicaid expansion.
Karri Dosman joined the protest because of the potential impact to her family. In particular, her son, who’s schizophrenic.
“He’s been sick for 10 years and needs the help,” Dosman said. “He has no income and we got him on Medicaid just recently and now it looks like he would be one of the people who would lose his coverage.”
Portman has said he would support a gradual rollback of Medicaid expansion. Republicans say they are working to lower the cost of health insurance premiums, lower deductibles and still provide access to health care for the most vulnerable.
Shane Foster, a union sheet metal worker says he’s frustrated by the burden of not only the ever-increasing costs of insurance premiums but also his taxes. “It seems like you see it daily,” Foster said. “People take advantage of our healthcare, our welfare and all those and I don’t know, that’s the part I don’t agree with, I guess.”
Cheri Walters, executive director of The Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities believes the GOP plan to roll back Medicaid could severely impact the state’s opiate addiction crisis.
“If we roll that back at a time when Medicaid has been the largest benefit to getting these folks treatment, we’re going to see the number of overdoses, not just in Ohio, but across the country, they’re going to skyrocket.”