Governor Ted Strickland of Ohio, facing a $3.2 billion budget shortfall, has proposed roughly $2 billion in cuts, which would include slashing funding for health care and remove benefits for dental care for those on the state Medicaid plan, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
While the budget plan officially calls for more than 1.1 million of Ohio's poor to lose dental insurance as well as coverage for vision and other types of care, administration officials say they will continue to provide these services temporarily until the state wins a court case to free up $258 million of tobacco settlement money.
No plans were specified concerning what happens should the court case be lost.
"We implore the governor to rethink this budget framework with the House and Senate conference committee and to propose something that does not shred the safety net," said Gayle Channing Tenenbaum, chairwoman of the Campaign to Protect Ohio's Future, a coalition of health, human-services and education organizations.
The situation is similar to a number of states facing budget shortfalls which are also continuing removing dental coverage from adults on Medicaid.
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