I read with great interest the Sept. 18 editorial regarding the lack of progress on Medicaid expansion in Ohio (“Up to $3.7 million a day”). I am glad the Beacon Journal is helping citizens understand that the Ohio legislature is now costing real people their jobs.
Summa and the Cleveland Clinic have already announced layoffs. The editorial rightly points out that the Affordable Care Act requires health systems to take cuts in payments in exchange for nearly universal coverage. This would relieve them of the burden of uncompensated care.
Expansion of Medicaid was part of that bargain. Now, Ohio legislators have put themselves in the role of brokers who decide whether citizens will get care or not.
Thus far they are choosing to deny approximately 300,000 Ohio citizens badly needed health insurance. Keep in mind that those premiums have already been paid by you and me, the citizens of Ohio.
When legislators pay their insurance premiums, I bet they expect coverage right away. Shouldn’t the citizens of Ohio expect the same on premiums we have already paid?
The most important thing to remember is that there are lives in the balance. Real people with real health problems will be harmed by this denial of coverage. Epidemiologists can tell you that out of 300,000, a certain number will die if they do not get the care they need.
Perhaps legislators would be willing to forego their own coverage while they “decide” for 300,000 Ohioans who have nothing right now.
Jon V. Thomas
Stand up to influential drillers
In response to the Sept. 10 article “Eco-group seeks tighter drilling rules,” I agree with the Ohio Environmental Council that Ohioans need to be more proactive and restrain these out-of-state oil and gas companies that have invaded our state in pursuit of astronomical profits.
It is apparent that the influence peddling by the drilling industry over Ohio legislators such as House Speaker Bill Batchelder is overriding reasonable recommendations and environmental concerns by communities which are being directly affected by the onslaught of hydraulic fracturing.
Any kind of safety protections from the toxic byproducts seem not to be open to discussion.
Even a reasonable 5 percent severance tax on oil and gas (comparable to other states such as Oklahoma and Texas) is out of the question.
What are the companies going to do, pack up and leave their huge profits behind? Baloney. The oil and gas are under our ground.
It is time for the people of Ohio to stand up to the oil and gas industry by letting bought-and-paid-for politicians such as Speaker Batchelder know that we will not sit back and watch our state turned into a toxic wasteland.
That would be a shameful legacy for future generations.
Philip J. Alexander
Emancipate college football
The athletic departments that agreed to the debacle (I won’t call it a game) between Ohio State and Florida A&M should be ashamed of themselves (“Epic mismatch ends with gigantic blowout,” Sept. 22).
College football has been called a plantation system, with the unpaid students helping the universities/plantation owners rake in millions.
It’s all a business and all about the money. So is prostitution.
Florida A&M took home nearly a million dollars. Selling your students sounds a lot like pimping to me.
If the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect different results, what does that say about House Republicans and their 40-plus votes to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act?