Ohio Governor John Kasich says he is not giving up his push for expansion of Medicaid as part of the proposed two year state budget. Some groups have suggested putting the issue on the ballot so that Ohioans can decide whether to expand Medicaid. Governor Kasich says he’s not opposed to that idea.

Groups that want Medicaid expansion are looking at their options right now. John Begala with the Center for Community Solutions wants Medicaid expansion as part of the state budget. But he says he’s willing to give lawmakers time to come up with Medicaid reforms that would allow low income Ohioans to purchase private health insurance with federal dollars. Still, Begala says he says his group is not willing to wait forever. He says if they don’t do it by the end of this year, his group is looking at another alternative: letting Ohio voters decide whether to expand Medicaid.

It looks like Medicaid expansion won’t likely be part of the proposed two year state budget that will come out of the Ohio Senate.

Governor John Kasich, Business leaders and even Democrats want Medicaid expansion in the Ohio Budget.  But Republican Ohio Senate President Keith Faber says that’s unlikely.

"You need two chambers to move a bill and the house has indicated they simply don’t have the votes to get Medicaid expansion done in the budget," says Faber.  "Therefore I do not believe Medicaid expansion is on the table as it relates to this legislation in the budget."

Gov. John Kasich's plan to expand health care coverage for low-income Ohioans has been dealt another blow.

A top Republican in the Ohio Legislature says the Senate's version of the state budget won't include the governor's proposed Medicaid expansion.

Senate President Keith Faber said Wednesday that he's pushing for changes to the Medicaid program instead of the wide-ranging expansion plan.

Lawmakers in the Ohio House already had stripped the Medicaid proposal that's a key element of President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

An estimated two thousand five hundred Ohioans stood out in the pouring rain at the state’s capitol today to do one thing – send a message to lawmakers to expand Medicaid in the state budget.

Democrats, Union leaders, Faith leaders of many different churches and leaders of business groups rally at the Ohio Statehouse….holding signs and chanting to lawmakers inside the building.

Republican Governor John Kasich says he still wants Ohio lawmakers to include Medicaid expansion in the Ohio budget. Yet Kasich says there are limits to what he, as Governor, can do to change the situation. He says it’s time for supporters of the Medicaid expansion plan to make the case for it with Republican lawmakers.

That involves this entire community, says Kasich.  "The provider community, mental health community, they just have to say how important it is to them."

Kasich Defends Medicaid Decision in Cleveland

Apr 4, 2013

Gov. John Kasich has been pitching his budget proposals throughout the state in a bid to win over Republican support. The governor made an impassioned plea for expanding Medicaid coverage in a speech at the City Club of Cleveland.

Kasich’s bid to expand the Medicaid program to cover about 450,000 additional Ohioans is troublesome to many Republicans.

The expansion is part of the federal healthcare reform law that Republicans oppose. Many see it as an eventual cost burden for the state. 

Debate continues over Ohio Governor John Kasich’s proposed expansion of Medicaid - outlined in his state budget plan last month.  Conservatives say its big government - Democrats like increased medical coverage for the poor and disabled. As WYSO's Jerry Kenney reports, both pros and cons surrounding the expansion will affect services provided by local medical professionals and organizations.

The latest Quinnipiac University poll shows 48 percent of Ohio voters agree with Republican Governor Kasich’s plan to expand Medicaid in the buckeye state while 42 percent oppose the idea. 

But when the poll is broken down into party affiliations, Democrats support it 71 percent to 22 percent and Independents support it 48 to 43 percent. 

Ohio's Republican governor is supporting the expansion of Medicaid, one of the biggest government programs.

While that appears to be a contradiction in terms for a conservative governor who's rejected federal stimulus money, it's on point with the matter-of-fact approach of Gov. John Kasich.

Kasich proposed expanding Medicaid under the federal law in his two-year budget plan Monday. He's framed the decision as recapturing Ohio taxpayers' federal money.