UPDATE: Medicaid Vote to Face Legal, Legislative Pushback

By: Todd Baucher, The Associated Press
By: Todd Baucher, The Associated Press
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UPDATE 10/22/2013 12:20 PM

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Legal and legislative challenges loom in Ohio after a board vote to fund an expansion of the Medicaid health program to cover thousands more residents.

Ohio recently got approval from the federal government to extend Medicaid eligibility.

On Monday, a board of six lawmakers and an appointee of the governor that handles certain adjustments to the state budget granted a request from Gov. John Kasich's administration to spend federal dollars on the expansion.

Kasich's move to bypass the full Legislature and go to the Controlling Board has been criticized.

The Senate's Republican leader says a bill will be introduced to rein in the board's ability to make such "sweeping" budget adjustments.

Medicaid expansion opponents say they expect to file a lawsuit as soon as Tuesday challenging the board's decision.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
UPDATE 10/21/2013 5:05 PM

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Legislative board grants governor's Medicaid request; more low-income Ohioans to gain coverage.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Will the State of Ohio join half of the nation in allowing a federally-funded expansion of the state's Medicaid program?

A discussion on that issue went on all afternoon Monday in Columbus.

25 states - including West Virginia - have accepted a program that's a major part of the Affordable Care Act.

It provides funding at least for the next few years to expand Medicaid eligibility.

The Ohio Legislature has so far balked at approving the plan, which is supported by Republican Governor John Kasich.

The governor is seeking the approval of the state controlling board, which was considering it Monday afternoon.

That's drawn the opposition of a local advocacy group, the Marietta OH 9-12 Project.

Earlier Monday, the Speaker of the Ohio House announced the replacement of two controlling board members, both of whom are legislators who oppose the expansion.

Supporters of the idea say it will expand Medicaid coverage for the first time to adults in the Buckeye State's rural counties, which include southeast Ohio.

Opponents argue it would be difficult to pay for at the state level if the federal government someday withdraws its funding.

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