Debate On Medicaid's Future Awaits Ohio Lawmakers


Ohio lawmakers will return to the Statehouse next month faced with whether to make changes to Medicaid.

Republican Gov. John Kasich wants to see the federal-state health program expanded to cover more low-income residents. But the GOP-controlled Legislature has balked at the idea despite the U.S. government promising to cover the entire cost of the expansion for the first three years and 90 percent for subsequent years.

Kasich's administration could extend Medicaid eligibility on its own or seek federal approval for other changes to the program.

However, the governor needs legislative approval to spend the federal dollars. Lawmakers could pass a bill, though several measures have so far gone nowhere. Or a seven-member panel that handles certain adjustments to the state budget could vote to authorize the spending.