Medicaid

Anti-abortion groups and six Republican lawmakers in Ohio are suing the state over a move to fund an expansion of the Medicaid health program.

Gov. John Kasich's administration brought the funding request to the state's Controlling Board, bypassing the full Legislature. The seven-member panel cleared the expansion money on Monday.

The lawsuit filed yesterday with the Ohio Supreme Court by the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law argues the board violated the Legislature's intent by approving the expansion dollars.

The Ohio Controlling Board approved funding to expand Medicaid in a 5-2 vote Monday afternoon.

That means beginning this January, over 300,000 Ohioans could become newly eligible for the state-run health insurance program, and around 275,000 are expected to get covered in 2014. The expansion extends state Medicaid programs to cover all adults making up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, or a little less than $16,000 for an individual.

Antwaun Brown is currently uninsured, and doesn't know yet whether he'll be able to get covered by the ACA. medicaid insurance health
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

Governor John Kasich will bring a Medicaid expansion proposal to the Ohio Controlling Board Monday. He’s gone around the Republican-run legislature in an attempt to approve billions in funds from the federal Affordable Care Act, and health coverage for hundreds of thousands of low-income people hangs in the balance.

When Amy Sylvester shows up at her appointment at Five Rivers Health Center in Dayton, she’s been up all night, because she works a 2am shift delivering papers.

Ohio Governor John Kasich announced last week he’ll circumvent the legislature to try to expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act. Meanwhile, state legislators are considering two separate Medicaid reform bills—and health care providers have their fingers crossed.

Ohio lawmakers are scheduled to hear more details about how several proposals would change the Medicaid health program for the poor and disabled.

One bill before a House committee would expand the program's eligibility, while another would roll it back for certain people, such as parents and pregnant women. The measures' sponsors are expected to testify on their plans this morning.

A Senate committee also is scheduled to hear initial testimony on a bill creating an oversight body to keep Medicaid growth in check.

The Federal health care Marketplace is set to open for business Tuesday, Oct. 1, and open enrollment will last for six months. Most people who can’t get employer insurance will be required to sign up for health plans under the Affordable Care Act, or pay a fee. But there’s still a lot of confusion about what exactly this will mean for the uninsured — about 1.5 million people in Ohio.

A coalition of backers of Medicaid expansion has started its petition drive to put the issue before voters if lawmakers don’t expand the program to 275,000 low income Ohioans as Gov. John Kasich had proposed in his original budget.

Medicaid expansion supporters have been battling arguments against it for months. But one of the main debates is over the $13 billion in federal dollars that they say Ohio could capture over seven years if expansion were in place by January 1.

As lawmakers prepare to come back to the Statehouse after summer break, they’re readying for big discussions on Medicaid – there are at least four bills dealing with Medicaid reform or expansion. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler talked with the only Republican lawmaker who’s come out in support of expanding Medicaid to 275-thousand low-income Ohioans.

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The discussion over extending Medicaid came to Dayton this week. Members of the Ohio Senate Finance Subcommittee came to CareSource to hear how Medicaid expansion would affect Ohioans and the state’s bottom line. Emily McCord speaks with WYSO's economics reporter, Lewis Wallace, who reports that health care advocates point to a study that shows Ohio can expand Medicaid while saving money at the same time.


State lawmakers exploring possible changes to Ohio's health care system are expected to hear from a health plan on Tuesday.

The Senate's Medicaid subcommittee will meet in Dayton at CareSource, one of the largest Medicaid managed care plans in the country.

Topics at the field hearing will include payment reform and behavioral health integration.

The Senate panel traveled to Cleveland last week to see how a mini-Medicaid expansion model works at MetroHealth Medical Center.

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