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Religious Leaders Warn Medicaid Cuts Will Hurt Ohio Babies

baby feet
Gabi Menashe
Proposed cuts to Medicaid in the two-year state budget could have an impact on health care for babies.

Faith leaders who advocate for the poor are urging the Republican-dominated Ohio Senate to change a proposed drop in Medicaid eligibility for poor women. They believe babies will pay the price if this change goes through in the two year budget.

Reverend John Edgar of the United Methodist Church for All People in Columbus says the way Medicaid stands in the budget now will have a disastrous effect on infant mortality.

“It would drop the threshold which now is if you can make 200 percent of median income, you can receive Medicaid. But it will drop it to 138 percent. Also, it has provisions that if you fall off Medicaid, you will probably have to wait a year to get back on. Now you don’t have to be very smart to know that most babies get conceived and born in less than one year,” Edgar says.

Edgar says Ohio already has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the country. He says Ohio ranks 47th among the 50 states for overall infant mortality and 50th for African American infant mortality.