Ohio House Still Considering Medicaid Expansion Freeze

Sep 21, 2017

Republican leaders in the Ohio Legislature are still looking at the possibility of freezing Medicaid expansion, a move the governor’s office says could result in a loss of health coverage for half a million people.

Republican lawmakers have argued that freezing enrollment for the Medicaid expansion population is one way to prepare for the possible repeal of the federal health care law. Lawmakers put the freeze in the state budget, but Gov. John Kasich vetoed. it.

Medicaid expansion covers more than 700,000 low-income adults in Ohio, under a plan that offers enrollment to anyone at or below 138 percent of the poverty line. Kasich parted ways with many Ohio conservatives, including his own Lieutenant Governor, when he opted into Medicaid expansion, which was voluntary for states under the Affordable Care Act.

The issue has been the subject of rallies and the subject of months of debate in the legislature.

Now Republican House Speaker Pro Tempore Kirk Schuring says members are once again weighing a veto override vote.

“We’re still working with our members regarding how that might play out and it’s too early to say whether or not we have the votes.”

Gov. Kasich and other supporters of Medicaid expansion say that money, which mostly comes from federal funds, goes a long way in helping Ohio provide opioid addiction treatment, among other things.