Ohio's Republican Gov. John Kasich has decided to sidestep the state legislature to win approval for spending $2.6 billion in federal money to expand Medicaid to an estimated 275,000 low-income residents under the Affordable Care Act.
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.
The Ohio Controlling Board includes two Republicans and one Democrat from each chamber of the legislature plus a chairman from the executive Office of Budget and Management. The board will consider the request Oct. 21. Kasich needs four votes to get the go-ahead.
Currently 23 states and the District of Columbia agreed to expand Medicaid under President Obama's signature health care law.
Last week, the federal government approved the governor's plan for expanding Medicaid.