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Who Does Ohio’s Congressional Delegation Really Represent?

Federal proposals to change Medicaid and cut other programs could affect Ohioans in every legislative district. (M. Kuhlman)
Federal proposals to change Medicaid and cut other programs could affect Ohioans in every legislative district. (M. Kuhlman)
March 22, 2017

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Data released Wednesday sheds light on how decisions debated at the federal level might play out in Ohio. The Center for Community Solutions developed profiles of all 16 Ohio congressional districts, examining income, employment, poverty, education, housing and health coverage.

Kate Warren, a research associate with the Center, says lawmakers should have the most up-to-date information about who they represent as the federal budget proposal and changes to Medicaid are considered.

"Most of the districts around the state are Republican districts, and there are people being impacted by federal policies around things like Medicaid and the Health and Human Services safety net," she said. "There are people in poverty in every district around the state, and those are constituents as well."

According to the data, the number of Ohioans receiving Medicaid ranges from one in 10 to one in three, depending on the district. And in every district in the state, some 40 to 50 percent of renters are living in housing considered unaffordable for their income.

President Trump's budget proposal includes $54 billion in cuts to health, education, housing and anti-poverty programs.

The Center for Community Solutions also recently released profiles of all state legislative districts in Ohio, and Warren says they were well received by local leaders and advocacy groups. She says they also found widespread disparities in health, social and economic wellbeing - touching all types of communities.

"A lot of people think that a lot of the problems in the state are focused in urban areas, but we really see high poverty rates and lots of problems around health coverage and teen births, and a lot of those things, in really rural areas as well," she explained.

They found more than one in four people live in poverty in many districts. And while the uninsured rate has dropped overall in Ohio since implementing the Affordable Care Act, nearly 20 percent of Ohioans in several districts still do not have health insurance.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH