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Despite Tea Party Opposition, Kasich Will Bypass Ohio Legislature to Expand Medicaid

Health Transformation director: We "need to act now."

by
Paula Bolyard

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October 12, 2013 - 6:25 am
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This week, Ohio Governor John Kasich’s administration asked the seven-member Ohio Controlling Board to appropriate federal Obamacare funds for the purpose of Medicaid expansion, bypassing the state legislature.

The Obama administration approved Ohio’s request to amend its Medicaid program so that people making up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level ($32,499 for a household of four) would be covered. The state’s Medicaid director, John McCarthy, submitted the request Sept. 26 with a corresponding request for the Controlling Board to appropriate the federal funds without the approval of the Republican-controlled legislature, which has stalled Kasich’s plans for Medicaid expansion.

The Controlling Board consists of the chairs of the Senate and House Finance Committees (currently Republicans) and a Republican and Democrat from both houses. The director of the OMB (a Kasich appointee) serves as the board’s president. Generally, the board’s duties include transferring funds between line items or fiscal years, allowing for emergency funding, and approving grants and loans made by the Department of Development. There is speculation that the two Democrats and the Kasich appointee would vote for the Medicaid expansion, so Kasich would only need to secure one additional Republican vote to win approval from the board. Senate President Keith Faber, a Republican, said he believes Kasich has the authority to turn the decision over to the Controlling Board. “I’m certainly a defender of legislative rights, and I would think a better solution would be a legislative option, but the governor does have that authority,” he said.

However, questions remain about the authority of the board. The Ohio Revised Code prohibits the Controlling Board from carrying out any action “which does not carry out the legislative intent of the general assembly.” But Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols justified the action, saying, “Only the General Assembly can authorize Medicaid to spend funds in this way, either through a bill or the Controlling Board.” Kasich, vacationing in Europe, was not available for comment, the Dispatch reported.

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Top Rated Comments   
Christ body and Caesar, however honest the Centurion, are not by Nature's God given the same duties, and conflating the two is a grave error.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Nice job, Paula.

One of Team Kasich's claims is that they're not spending any state money by expanding Medicaid because it's 100% reimbursed by the Feds.

According to the Controlling Board's home page, the members other than the OBM guy are Republican Sens. Bill Coley, Chris Widener, Dem Sen. Tom Sawyer, GOP Reps. Ron Amstutz, Cliff Rosenberger, and Dem Chris Redfern.

My reading is that the Republican betrayer giving Kasich his needed 4-3 majority will be Coley or Widener.

Kasich's move is beneath contempt.

Tom Blumer
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (11)
All Comments   (11)
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The problem is that rolling back welfare bennies to levels that are healthy is near impossible. Better not to raise them in the first place. But alas...
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
There is no healthy level of welfare. People in need should rely on the generosity of others.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Nice job, Paula.

One of Team Kasich's claims is that they're not spending any state money by expanding Medicaid because it's 100% reimbursed by the Feds.

According to the Controlling Board's home page, the members other than the OBM guy are Republican Sens. Bill Coley, Chris Widener, Dem Sen. Tom Sawyer, GOP Reps. Ron Amstutz, Cliff Rosenberger, and Dem Chris Redfern.

My reading is that the Republican betrayer giving Kasich his needed 4-3 majority will be Coley or Widener.

Kasich's move is beneath contempt.

Tom Blumer
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Tom,

Since Amstutz has already spoken against the move, I suspect he would be a no vote, hopefully in principal, but he should also be motivated by the fact that he faces conservative challengers for the Speaker race. Voting with Kasich on this would (IMO) hurt his chances in the conservative House.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Another huge disappointment to those who thought he would be a good governor. By now the only thing you can say is that he is better than Strickland, which is damning him with faint praise.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
That said, there are dangers in single-party rule, as we have seen on a number of occasions in Ohio in the past few years.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm told that Kasich has said he believes it is his responsibility as a Christian to use the government to expand Medicaid to help the poor. These were remarks at a meeting that received only a bit of local coverage. He may be sincere in this view, but if so, it suggests a mistaken idea of the duty of people in government.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Desdemona,

I wrote about Kasich's threat to lawmakers that they would face the wrath of God if they didn't expand Medicaid here:

http://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2013/07/14/new-great-awakening-when-politicians-speak-for-god/
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Christ body and Caesar, however honest the Centurion, are not by Nature's God given the same duties, and conflating the two is a grave error.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
So true, TomDP!
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Kasich is a Progressive. He is not somebody that anyone who is conservative should ever vote for.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
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