Republicans Drop Medicaid Expansion in Kasich's Budget
Updated: Tuesday, April 9 2013, 07:12 PM EDT
COLUMBUS (AP) -- Republican House leaders are dropping Gov. John Kasich's plan to expand Medicaid under the federal health overhaul to cover thousands more low-income Ohioans.
House lawmakers jettisoned the idea from their version of the two-year, state spending blueprint, which they released Tuesday.
Kasich frames his support for expanding Medicaid a way to recapture Ohio taxpayers' federal money and help the state's most vulnerable get health care.
Rejecting expansion means the state would forgo $13 billion from the federal government over the next seven years to cover those newly eligible for Medicaid.
Many GOP lawmakers are averse to Democratic President Barack Obama's law and resistant to expanding government programs.
House Speaker William Batchelder said there was a lack of clarity from Washington around the regulations under the law.
Kasich Statement - “It’s clear that support isn’t there right now among House Republicans to extend Medicaid coverage, but it’s the right decision for Ohio. Not doing so will hurt our economy, make Obamacare's impacts worse and hurt vulnerable Ohioans who need care. The House's proposed funds for mental illness and addiction addresses part of the problem but it's not enough. Ohio's support for this needed change is diverse and broad and the governor will see this through to get it done."
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