Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s “new way” of creating jobs has left something to be desired — namely, jobs. Kasich has killed projects that promised to create jobs in favor of policies that are sure to stunt job creation. Now with a state facing an overall loss of 400,000 jobs and an unemployment rate of 9 percent, Kasich’s decision to slash state funding for Medicaid left 2,800 Ohioans who help the elderly and disabled out of a job:
A separate survey of 385 Ohio nursing homes found that 2,800 jobs had been eliminated between July 1 and Sept. 1 — or soon would be — following a 6 percent budget cut to the state’s Medicaid program, the tax-funded health-insurance program for the poor and disabled.
Kasich’s cuts result from his desire to “rebalance” the amount of funding spent on Ohio seniors and the disabled. Hoping to shift towards “in-home care,” state officials say the nursing-home job loss is “not surprising.” But, as FamiliesUSA notes, funding Medicaid is a sure-fire way to ensure economic growth and job creation.
According to the Ohio Health Care Association, mostly nurses and nursing assistants “who provide hands-on care to patients” are the ones who have lost their jobs. Other nursing homes have “frozen or cut workers’ pay, as well as freezing or cutting benefits.” Nursing home officials worry that these cuts will affect patient care. Five homes have already closed since the budget cuts began.
And given the similar obsession with budget hacking among Republican governors and lawmakers, Ohio is just the beginning. According to the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care, “Ohio is ground zero for what will be coming for the rest of the country.” There are also federal Medicare cuts pending due to overpayment that will affect jobs in the state.