Ohio panel to consider Medicaid expansion spending

By Ann Sanner

Associated Press

Published: Sunday, Oct. 20 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks at the Cleveland Clinic, using one of the nation’s best known hospitals to make a final public push for Medicaid expansion, Friday, Oct. 18, 2013, in Cleveland. Kasich said he’s optimistic ahead of a legislative panel vote on whether the state will extend Medicaid coverage to more Ohioans under the federal health care law.

Tony Dejak, Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio — An Ohio legislative panel plans to consider the governor's request to allow federal money to be spent on expanding the Medicaid program.

Ohio recently got approval from the federal government to extend Medicaid eligibility. However, Gov. John Kasich's (KAY-siks) administration needs legislative sign-off to spend federal dollars on newly eligible residents.

Medicaid expansion is a key component of the federal health overhaul. The U.S. government promises to pay for the expansion for three years and for 90 percent of it after that.

The seven-member Controlling Board handles certain adjustments to the state budget. It will hear Kasich's spending request on Monday.

Kasich has pushed for Medicaid expansion. But the Republican-controlled Legislature has balked, so he turned to the little-known board.

His move to bypass the full Legislature has been criticized.

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