Columbus, Ohio – SEIU District 1199 members have been fighting to secure access to healthcare for 275,000 working Ohioans since the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which provides a historic opportunity to expand healthcare access for more working adults. Today’s announcement by Healthy Ohioans Work to seek voter approval for extending healthcare benefits for working people earning under 138% of the federal poverty line has been received with wide-spread praise.
“As the state’s largest healthcare and social service workers union, we are proud to partner with healthcare providers, consumers and advocates to give Ohioans a voice on extending healthcare to over 275,000 working families,” said Becky Williams, President of the Service Employees International Union District 1199, a member of the Healthy Ohioans Work coalition. “We can’t allow working people and their families in Ohio to fall between the cracks of those who make too much to receive Medicaid and make too little to afford health insurance.”
Judy Maldonado, a nurse practitioner from Lorain and Member Vice President of SEIU District 1199, has been advocating for the prompt and full implementation of the healthcare law including accepting federal funding for Medicaid Expansion.
“As a nurse, I see patients in our hospital every day that don’t make enough to pay for health insurance. Too often working people have to choose between keeping the lights on and food in the house for their families and going to the doctor,” said Maldonado. “If working people get sick because they don’t have access to healthcare, they often end up in our emergency rooms and sometimes after their condition has become life threatening.”
SEIU District 1199 will continue the conversation with voters about supporting the expansion of Medicaid in Ohio by engaging union members and allies in the Healthy Ohioans Work campaign and working with partners to give families the security of healthcare they so desperately need.
SEIU District 1199 represents nearly 30,000 healthcare and social service workers in West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio.
Learn more about the Healthy Ohioans Work campaign by visiting www.healthyohioanswork.org.