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Medicaid expansion approved in Ohio

Karen Kasler
Controlling Board Members From the front to the back – Rep. Chris Redfern (D-Port Clinton), Rep. Jeff McClain (R-Upper Sandusky), Controlling Board Secretary Anne Dean, Controlling Board President Randy Cole, and Sen. Bill Coley (R-Cincinnati). ";

A legislative panel at the Ohio Statehouse has approved a plan to allow the state to accept $2.5 billion in federal money to be used to expand Medicaid. But the move isn’t doing much to end the fight over the controversial issue.

As expected the Ohio Controlling board voted to expand Medicaid with two Republicans voting for it.  The move allows the state’s Medicaid Director to draw down the money to expand Medicaid and allow 275 thousand low income Ohioans to get on the program. 

"The Governor chose to go this route and we were thrilled with the bipartisan participation on the controlling board," said Gail Channing Tennenbaum who is part of a coalition working for Medicaid expansion.

Republican Representative Lou Terhar feels differently. "The basis for this government is supposed to be that everybody gets to vote.  What just happened in there is that 90 percent of the people in Ohio just got disenfranchised because they didn’t get to vote."

But opponents might get their day in court if a lawsuit is filed as planned this morning.