Hopefully Medicaid expansion in Ohio has a positive local impact, especially at the Trumbull County Jail.
Medicaid expansion was controversial. Advocates for small government opposed the concept pointing out the increase in public spending. On the federal level, they may be right.
But for Ohio, Medicaid expansion made sense. Under the deal, the federal government will provide 100 percent of the cost for three years. Then it provides 90 percent of the cost forever after. By accepting expanded Medicaid, Ohio is bringing $14 billion annually back to the state.
Sure, the federal government could change its support. But the Ohio law expanding Medicaid requires the state to pull out of the program if the 90 percent formula changes.
Currently, the reimbursement rate is 62 percent.
Medicaid expansion helps more drug abusers to receive addiction services. Medicaid expansion also treats more mentally ill citizens outside of the jails.
We reported some months ago that Trumbull County had to purchase new, more durable sinks for its jail. A section of the jail designated for non-violent offenders must now be used for an increasing number of mentally ill inmates who could otherwise be receiving treatment at professional facilities. These inmates began destroying the sinks, which the county had to replace.
Washington's decision about Medicaid expansion is certainly debatable. Ohio's participation is a no-brainer.