Mahoning Democrats use duck prop to challenge DeWine-Husted - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Mahoning Democrats use duck prop to challenge DeWine-Husted

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MAHONING COUNTY, Ohio -

With a 15-foot high inflatable duck as a backdrop, Mahoning County Democrats challenged Republicans Mike DeWine and Jon Husted to stop ducking questions about their commitment to preserve Medicaid expansion for Ohio.

Party Chairman Dave Betras rolled out the duck. "The whole point is they won't take a stand on the issue," said Betras.

Mahoning County Commissioner Carol Remedio-Reighetti said Medicaid expansion provides health services to people who otherwise would be shut out. 

"This affects over 18,000 of our residents in Mahoning County. What are they going to do, cut everything that comes to local governments? I mean, we can't sustain all of that," the commissioner said. 

The director of the Mahoning County Mental Health and Recovery Board said it gave out $9-million last year, including $3-million for treatment.

"And without Medicaid expansion, probably 80% of the $9-million would have gone to treatment," said Director Duane Piccirilli.

Without those funds, the director said any number of other services would have to be cut.

The duck speech was timed just ahead of a Husted visit to America Makes in Youngstown. He said the DeWine campaign has taken a stand, and that's to support a more cost-efficient state-based program. 

"What we're saying is there is a third way to do this.  You can ask the federal government to give you a waiver so you can take the resources that they're making available and design an Ohio solution for Ohio's problem, and that's exactly what we will do," Husted said. 

Husted says the current Medicaid expansion is just not sustainable on the federal or state level.
 

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