Joe Stafford addresses need for Medicaid Expansion at Columbus rally
COLUMBUS – The Crawford-Marion ADAMH board and 15 other community members traveled to Columbus, Ohio to join over 500 hundred other advocates from around the state of Ohio to hear from a community perspective why extending coverage is the right thing to do for Ohio, and to demonstrate their support to legislators for the Governor’s proposal to extend Medicaid to those up to 138% of the federal poverty level.
The crowd also had the opportunity to hear from Governor John Kasich, and to express their appreciation to him for the compassion he has shown for individuals who struggle with untreated mental health and substance use disorders and their families.
“We attended the Medicaid Expansion Advocacy Extravaganzabecause we see every day the difficulty so many of our citizens have accessing treatment and supports for mental illness and addictive disorders. The positive impact improved access can have on job growth, community safety, and overall economic development cannot be overstated,” stated Jody Demo-Hodgins, ADAMH Board Executive Director, “Treatment works and people recover. Medicaid expansion will open the door to recovery for thousands of Ohioans who need treatment services and supports.”
Galion Pastor Joe Stafford of Wesley Chapel was one of seven speakers from around the state making a case for the impact Medicaid expansion would have on persons in need of treatment for mental illness and addiction. Stafford has been active in the Crawford County Opiate task force and is also a licensed therapist. He shared information about his church and their Restore Ministry effort and how church members involved receive education and training in working with people in need of support.
The expansion of Medicaid is being decided as part of the SFY 2014–15 budget which is under consideration by the Ohio House of Representatives at this time.