LIMA — One of the candidates for Ohio governor sat down with The Lima News editorial board Tuesday.
Republican Mike DeWine, Ohio’s current Attorney General, discussed a wide range of topics that included Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima and Medicaid expansion.
DeWine faces opposition from Democrat Richard Cordray, a former attorney general.
DeWine also touched on problems with old DNA samples that weren’t being tested as quickly as they should have been under Cordray’s watch.
“Over the years, [the State Crime Lab] has gotten to the point where they were horribly slow, and so when I took office, the first thing I did was, I brought some business people in to look at it specifically in regard to DNA. [DNA] would sit, on average, 125 days before anybody looked at it. We are now doing about three and a half times as much DNA work. Our average wait time today, if it’s not an emergency, is 23 days. We can turn cases around in 24 hours when there’s an emergency. We fixed the crime lab,” said DeWine.
Recently, Lima Mayor David Berger questioned DeWine’s support of the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center.
“Look, the election will be over in four weeks, and I look forward to working with the mayor. I have a long history of working in regard to the tank plant that goes back to when I was on the appropriations committee and we were able to get money for the tank plant. In the long run, what I’m going to do the day I take office is we will set up an office. We will have someone in charge of it who understands military installations and installations that are related to the military. We have great things in the state of Ohio that need to be protected. We have Wright Patterson Air Force Base. We have NASA Glenn. We also have Air National Guard bases. We have other facilities. This facility comes under that category. We always want to be looking out for them and doing everything proactively that we can do,” said DeWine.
On the topic of Medicaid expansion, DeWine agreed with Cordray to an extent.
“Our difference with Richard Cordray is we’re both for Medicaid expansion. We have two different things we’re going to do. One is a work requirement, and the goal of the work requirement is not punitive. The goal is if someone doesn’t have the job skills, let’s get them the training that they need and that can count towards their work. The second thing that we propose is focusing more intensely on wellness. It needs to be included in the contract that the state signs with, now we have five managed care companies. Those contracts need to be renegotiated,” said DeWine.
DeWine also reiterated his opposition to Obamacare and is pushing those with pre-existing medical conditions to be placed in a high-risk pool for insurance purposes.
“Let’s say for whatever reason Obamacare goes away. You’re going to have the federal guarantee of getting insurance, but you’re going to need to do something at the state level because you need to pool — you need to have a high-risk pool or something similar to that — and that enables a person who already has a pre-existing [condition] to be able to afford insurance,” DeWine added.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.