Letter: Gov. Kasich attacks nurses

Now that Gov. John Kasich has signed the new budget and patted himself on the back for the Medicaid “expansions,” let me tell you about the cuts and drastic changes that he wants to make to Medicaid.

I am an independent nurse for the state of Ohio and I work for Medicaid consumers (the poor and/or disabled). In early 2015, the Department of Medicaid had their auditors, Public Consulting Group, perform annual reviews and they accused thousands of independent provider nurses and aides of Medicaid “fraud”!

Trivial things such as signing with initials instead of full names, not dating documentation two to three times, using signature stamps instead of writing names, among other menial infractions.

Fraud? Really?

Weeks later it came to light that Kasich was trying to defame independents and eventually phase out and eliminate 14,000 nurses and aides who work for Medicaid. This was to force the disabled to use agencies, who are already understaffed and unreliable and it also takes away the consumers’ civil right to choose their health care providers. Mainly this was a way for Kasich to avoid the federal mandate that would force states to pay state health care providers overtime, benefits and minimum wage.

After many letters and hours of testimony, fighting for the disabled, it was tabled for more review.

Another of Kasich’s ideas is to make the consumers or their families the “employer” of their nurses/aides. Many of the disabled and their families cannot manage, or do not want, the responsibilities of such a job. Another path to epic failure! Are these proposed cuts and changes worth the risk of losing the lives of our most vulnerable citizens?

Cheryl Mansfield, Ottawa