Ohio board readies decision on state's Medicaid expansion

A seven-member state committee holds the fate of Ohio's Medicaid expansion in its hands as it prepares to vote on the proposal, and no one is talking about how they plan to vote.

Columbus Dispatch: Medicaid Expansion Still Up In Air On Controlling Board 
Two paths are emerging for Republican Gov. John Kasich to secure the fourth vote he needs on the seven-member Controlling Board to expand Medicaid. The administration has six days before it formally will ask the oversight panel to approve $2.56 billion in federal money to cover 275,000 more poor Ohioans under Medicaid (Varden, 10/15).

Cincinnati Enquirer: Fate Of Ohio Medicaid In Hands Of Seven Men
The fate of Medicaid expansion in Ohio, and the source of health care for up to 366,000 uninsured Ohioans, rests in the hands of seven men on a statehouse committee. ... The Enquirer interviewed each of the seven members of the Controlling Board last week. Most were coy about whether they plan to vote in favor of accepting federal money to expand Medicaid (Thompson, 10/15).

Stateline: Ohio Governor To Bypass Legislature On Medicaid Expansion
Kasich, one of only 10 Republican governors to support the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion, has been unable to convince the GOP-controlled General Assembly to go along with his plan. Late last Friday (Oct. 11) his office announced that the state Medicaid agency had asked a seven-member bipartisan panel to approve the spending proposal instead (Vessel, 10/14).

In Virginia, a state senator says the state should consider alternative ways to expand Medicaid --

The Richmond Times-Dispatch: Stosch Suggest Looking For Alternatives
Sen. Walter A. Stosch, R-Henrico, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said last week that he wants to consider approaches used by other states in the face of political opposition to extending Medicaid coverage to childless adults, parents, and others below or barely above the poverty line. "I believe it's time to start to look at alternatives to expansion," he said, citing market-based approaches in states such as Iowa and Arkansas to take advantage of billions of dollars in federal spending without expanding the program for the poor, elderly and disabled. Stosch is the author of budget language this year that created the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission and gave it the power to determine that Virginia had made sufficient reforms to its existing Medicaid program to allow expansion under the Affordable Care Act (Martz, 10/15).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.



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