‘This could have been prevented … had the past administration acknowledged and addressed it, rather than kicking the can down the road…’
In a 13-page report sent to DeWine, Corcoran said the agency “as we inherited it, was a mess,” and accused Kasich of failing to protect the privacy of hundreds of beneficiaries while crippling the system, forcing many Ohio residents to look out of state for treatment.
As a result, the system now faces a severe caseload backlog and an error rate so large that federal regulators threatened to fine the state $6 billion in penalties.
“This is not personal, this is not denigrating,” Corcoran told the Columbus Dispatch. “It is about being open about realities held in secret.”
There are more than 1,000 defects with the $1.2 billion Ohio Benefits system, Corcoran said. Some of them have to do with privacy incidents. More than 700 members have either received mail for other members, or they’ve been able to access the online portals of other members.
The system has also ascribed incorrect renewal dates, causing late renewals. And in some cases, the system failed to renew health benefit plans entirely.
“This could have been prevented, or at least mitigated, had the past administration acknowledged and addressed it, rather than kicking the can down the road,” Corcoran said.
The “challenges” left by Kasich have required Corcoran to redirect “numerous resources—both human capital and financial resources—to repairing issues inherited by the DeWine administration,” the report states.
Kasich, however, has continued to brag about how he expanded Medicaid in the state under Obamacare, bucking GOP leadership to do so.
He also made expanded healthcare benefits a central part of his failed 2016 presidential bid. “This is about putting ourselves in somebody else’s shoes,” Kasich said back in 2016. “Think about what your life would be like if you didn’t know if you could get any health care.”
But on his way out of office, Kasich made massive cuts to the program, blindsiding the state’s 88 county Medicaid programs with millions of dollars in funding cuts.
“For the outgoing Republican Kasich administration to have so badly bungled this transition to the incoming Republican administration of Gov. Mike DeWine suggests it wasn’t just a fumble but maybe something more deliberate,” the Dispatch’s editorial board wrote at the time. “And we’ll tack on ‘cowardly’ for good measure.”