It’s budget season! Priorities for a Healthier Ohio

In 121 episodes Ohio Forecast – “Budget season!” Priorities for a Healthier Ohio – Dan Skinner talks with Tara Britton, Director of Public Policy and Advocacy, and Edward D. and Dorothy E. Lind Fellow at Center for Public Solutionsand Kelsey Bergfeld, coalition manager at Defenders of the Future OhioO state budget and their policy priorities. Dan, Tara and Kelsey discuss the programs and services that will be affected by the initial phase of the public health emergency and what they hope to see in this budget.

In particular, over the past 3 years, the federal SNAP program has given SNAP households the maximum allowance for their household size. During the looming easing, Kelsey expresses concern that additional insurance for 1.9 million Ohio residents on SNAP benefits will be affected.

Tara talks about Medicaid expansion in 2014 and applauds Governor DeWine for calling for higher levels of Medicaid coverage for children and pregnant women. However, 3.5 million Ohio residents receive Medicaid, whose eligibility will be re-evaluated for the first time in 3 years, and approximately 220,000 Ohioans are expected to will be removed from the lists within the next year. Pay attention to the language here folks as we’re running into the specter of “unwind” and “clipping”. Ohio is at a crossroads of great consequences.

Dan asks if we are making any progress with evidence-based harm reduction strategies such as syringe exchange, fentanyl test strips, and distribution of naloxone. At the end of the last General Assembly The Ohio House of Representatives Passed the Bill this will decriminalize the fentanyl test strips that Governor DeWine signed into law earlier in the year. But the budget is an opportunity to strengthen our state’s commitment to vital harm reduction approaches.

Tara highlights doulas and their support for pregnant women in reducing inequality. House Law 142 the last General Assembly is almost over, and it is hoped that bipartisan support will carry it to the finish line this year.

Learn more about the state budget process from Center for Public Solutions.

More about Tara And Kelsey.


  • Dan recently Greg Moody on the show to talk about the expansion of Medicaid under Gov. Kasich
  • Previously, Dan spoke to the organizers from the River Valley Organizing about their needle exchange program
  • Listen to the latest edition of The Ohio Forecast at Doula care with the Children’s Defense Fund

Hosted and produced by Dan Skinner. Copywriting and production support Angela Lin. Prognosis Ohio is a member of the WCBE Podcast Experience and the Health Podcast Network. Prognosis Ohio is a product of Prognosis Ohio, LLC.

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