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Friday, April 19, 2013

Medicaid Expansion in Ohio; Down but not Out

The budget bill was passed out of the Ohio House yesterday with a 61-35 vote - and it did not include Governor Kasich's proposal to expand Medicaid under Obamacare in Ohio. 

Sadly, this is only a minimal victory. While it is unlikely the Ohio Senate will put Medicaid expansion back in the budget, the fight to expand Medicaid is far from over.

Keeping Medicaid expansion in Ohio on life support, Representative Barbara Sears offered an amendment that passed which will keep the fight against Medicaid expansion going for at least the rest of the year.....

From The Plain Dealer -- (Emphasis Added)

Ohio's Medicaid expansion is down, but not out.

House Republicans kept alive the possibility that Ohio may expand its Medicaid program to cover the working poor, approving an amendment to its budget that could open the door to changes later this year.

The change was one of several the GOP-controlled House considered as members poised late Thursday night to vote on their iteration of Gov. John Kasich's "Jobs Budget 2.0" The chamber approved a budget proposal for the next two years by a vote of 61-35.

The GOP amendment on Medicaid expansion, introduced by Republican Rep. Barbara Sears of suburban Toledo, requires that legislation to reform the Medicaid program in Ohio be introduced in the House, but does not specify what shape that reform will take.

It directs the governor's Office of Health Transformation and his Medicaid director to provide assistance in developing the legislation. And if the legislation is not enacted before the year ends, efforts to change Medicaid must cease. More...

This is truly sad as Rep. Sears was at one time strongly against any form of Obamacare and even introduced legislation in 2010 trying to stop the implementation of Obamacare in Ohio.

So at the end of the day - some GOP members in the OH House are pretending to be conservative for taking Medicaid expansion out of the budget.

And when the truth be told -- these same GOP members that voted to remove Medicaid expansion from the budget -- also voted to support of an amendment giving an extended shelf life for a proposed Medicaid expansion in Ohio under Obamacare.

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