Local drug counselors see Medicaid expansion as a chance to treat a segment of our community left in a funding gap.
Muskingum Behavioral Health's Steve Carroll Steve Carrel said that childless adults make up a large percentage of those not funded by the current Medicaid plans.
Even though they are labeled as childless, they may have children that are claimed by the mothers.
"If those folks alone could get Medicaid coverage they would be eligible to get their addiction or mental illnesses treated," said Muskingum Behavioral Health's Executive Director Steve Carrel. "They could get in recovery and become wonderful fathers to their children and be part of their child's life."
With this group funded it also frees up money for Muskingum Behavioral Health to increase services.
"The first year we could have an estimated $1.3 million available that we can use for services that we've stopped providing because of cuts or services that can be really innovative with and we're trying to show our legislatures that people are out here and support expansion," explained Carrel.
Some of what Carrel is looking at is creating a recovery navigator who goes into the community to help those that may need treatment and to hire for a counselor position that was cut when funding was cut.
A meeting to talk about Medicaid expansion will be held Monday, March 18 at 6 p.m. at Zane State College.
The meeting is sponsored by the Central Ohio Medicaid Expansion Coalition.