Lawmakers: Medicaid should cover pediatric drug addiction services

Published: Friday, May 19, 2017 @ 12:04 PM
Updated: Friday, May 19, 2017 @ 12:04 PM

            Lawmakers: Medicaid should cover pediatric drug addiction services. Photo by Chris Stewart

Ohio’s two senators are introducing a bill aimed at helping newborns born addicted recover in a supportive setting.

Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Rob Portman, R-Ohio along with Sens. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va. and Angus King, I-Maine, have reintroduced a bill that would recognize allow Medicaid to cover pediatric drug addiction recovery services in both hospitals and residential pediatric recovery facilities.

SPECIAL PROJECT: Addicted at birth

The bill - which costs taxpayers nothing - would allow babies suffering from neonatal abstinence syndrome - or withdrawal - to receive quality care in residential facilities. The syndrome is a withdrawal condition often caused by use of opioids and other addictive substances in pregnant women.

In the House, Reps. Tim Ryan, Niles, Mike Turner, R-Dayton and Reps. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., and Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va., have introduced a companion bill.

Among the facilities currently treating babies born with withdrawal is Brigid’s Path, in Dayton.

Traditionally, babies with neonatal abstinence syndrome have been treated in the neonatal intensive care unit, where treatment costs are more than five times the cost of treating other newborns. The lawmakers say that the NICU - with its bright lights and loud noises - is not the ideal place for babies suffering from withdrawal. Residential pediatric recovery facilities, they argue, offer an alternative more conducive to treating newborns with the syndrome.

Portman said the Ohio Department of Health estimates roughly 84 babies are being treated for drug withdrawal in Ohio hospitals every day.

RELATED: More help aimed at helping babies, mothers

“We must ensure that Ohio moms and babies have access to residential treatment facilities that specialize in giving them the specific kind of care they need and at a lower cost to taxpayers,” said Brown.

In 2015, the Ohio Department of Health released data that there had been 2,174 hospital admissions for neonatal abstinence syndrome, and reported that an average of 84 infants were being treated for drug withdrawal by Ohio hospitals every day.

Husted for Governor endorsed by gun-rights group

Published: Wednesday, May 24, 2017 @ 12:13 PM
Updated: Wednesday, May 24, 2017 @ 12:13 PM

            Lebanon Councilwoman Wendy Monroe and, at center, Kim Campbell of Ohioans for Concealed Carry announced the group’s endorsement of Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted for Ohio governor.

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s gubernatorial campaign was endorsed today by Ohioans for Concealed Carry.

The endorsement was announced at 22three Outfitters, a gun range and store outside Lebanon.

“If you care about your Second Amendment rights, Jon Husted is your man.”said Kim Campbell, a board member with the gun-rights group.

RELATED: How much are the candidates for governor worth?

Husted said he led a gubernatorial override of Ohio’s Concealed Carry law for the first time since the 1950s.

“Law-abiding citizens have the right to protect themselves, their family and their property, “Husted said.

Joining Husted and Campbell in the announcement was Lebanon Councilman Wendy Monroe.

22three Outfitters is a gun store and training facility outside Lebanon owned by Monroe and her husband, Warren County GOP Chairman Jeff Monroe.

Who’s in? A look at who is running for governor



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Gov. John Kasich criticizes Trump budget during CBS interview.

Published: Wednesday, May 24, 2017 @ 9:34 AM
Updated: Wednesday, May 24, 2017 @ 9:34 AM

Ohio Gov. John Kasich criticized President Donald Trump’s budget this morning during an appearance on CBS This Morning.

The interview aired this morning on WHIO-TV Channel 7.

Kasich said “millions” of Ohioans would be impacted by proposed cuts, especially to Medicaid.

“The problem here is you can’t just take stuff away when people need to be healthy, they need to be fed,” Kasich said.

Check out the full interview here:

Ohio moves a step closer to changing how congressional lines are drawn

Published: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 1:50 PM
Updated: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 3:53 PM

Ohio step closer to changing how congressional lines are drawn

An effort to reform how Ohio redraws congressional district lines every 10 years moved forward this week after the petition for a state constitutional amendment was certified by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

The next step is the Ohio Ballot Board, which must approve the proposed language before supporters can begin gathering the necessary signatures to get the issue on the ballot.

Changing the process for how congressional districts are drawn has gathered momentum since Ohio voters in 2015 approved an amendment reforming how state legislative districts are drawn.

“What’s good for the Statehouse is good for Congress,” said Catherine Turcer of Common Cause Ohio, one of the coalition partners in Fair Districts Fair Elections, the group seeking the reform measure.

The new proposal would essentially mirror what voters approved for the state legislature with a few modifications, said Carrie Davis, executive director of the League of Women Voters of Ohio, another coalition partner.

RELATED: Ohio may change the way congressional lines are drawn

States must redraw both legislative and congressional districts after each 10-year U.S. Census to reflect population changes. States use different methods to determine which voters are represented in each district, though few states are immune from allegations of politics tainting the process.

In Ohio, Democrats have long argued that districts are unfairly drawn. They say Republicans, who have controlled the process through several Census cycles, pack Democrats into a few districts while keeping Republican districts safe. Of the state’s 16 congressional districts, 12 are held by Republicans.

RELATED: How many Republicans and Democrats can you shove into a congressional district

Gov. John Kasich and Secretary of State Jon Husted — both Republicans — have said the process is in need of reform, but not all Republicans agree with them. Some have argued to hold off and see how legislative redistricting reform works out before moving ahead on changing how congressional districts are redrawn.

RELATED: Kasich backs redistricting reform

Because Husted is chairman of the Ohio Ballot Board, he said he would withhold specific comments on the reform proposal until the board’s review is completed. But, he said, “as a longtime advocate for redistricting reform…we’ve got to change the incentive for partisanship that gerrymandering creates.”

This week the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against North Carolina’s state legislature in a racial gerrymandering case. Other cases too are pending before the high court.

RELATED: High court ruling may give voter rights groups a strong tool

DeWine certified the petition for the Bipartisan Congressional Redistricting Reform Amendment, which had the required 1,000 valid signatures from registered Ohio voters and a “fair and truthful” summary of the proposed amendment. The group had amended an earlier petition that had been rejected by DeWine’s office.

Within 10 days the petition will go before the Ohio Ballot Board, which will determine if the amendment contains a single issue or multiple issues.

Once that is done the group can move forward to gather the necessary 305,000 signatures needed to put it on the November ballot. If the signatures are gathered by July 5 it would go on the 2017 ballot. Otherwise the group would push for November 2018, Davis said.

“The reality is we need to get this reform done before the lines are redrawn in 2021. So practically this needs to get done by 2020,” she said.

RELATED: Issue One would change how legislative lines are drawn

6 local students nominated for military academies

Published: Monday, May 22, 2017 @ 4:54 PM
Updated: Monday, May 22, 2017 @ 4:54 PM

Congressman Mike Turner, R-Dayton, today announced that six local students have been nominated for the military academies.

The local nominees are

*Abigail Arestides, Beavercreek, Air Force Academy;

*Caleb Boon, Beavercreek, Air Force Academy;

*Kyle Roshong, Dayton, Air Force Academy;

*Holden Rushing, Kettering, Naval Academy;

*Kasen Stephensen, Bellbrook, Naval Academy;

*Marie Docken, Kettering, U.S. Military Academy.

“Every year, bright young patriots volunteer to serve their country,” Turner said in a statement. “I am proud to recognize these six students ...