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Kasich Makes Push for Medicaid Expansion in Ohio
COLUMBUS (Chris Vanocur/Ken Hines) -- Governor John Kasich says he's "optimistic" Medicaid will soon be expanded in Ohio.
Just days before a key vote to expand the program in the Buckeye State, Kasich made a last minute push for passage.
During a passionate plea Friday at the Cleveland Clinic alongside, doctors, patients, and religious leaders, the governor said providing more health care is a moral duty.
Quoting everybody from the Hobbit to a higher authority, the governor made his case for what may soon be known as "Medicaid Monday."
"Folks, we have a vote on Monday. Say your prayers this weekend," Kasich said. "I am optimistic about this."
Kasich turned to the state's Controlling Board for approval of the expansion after Ohio legislators
balked at adding nearly 300,000 thousand people to the Medicaid program.
Echoing the governor's message Friday were health care officials, law enforcement officers, and a single mom who said she's being successfully treated for her mental illness.
"The reason I am here today to share my story with you now is because I want you to understand the importance of health care," the mother said.
The governor and others say expanding Medicaid would be wise because, not only would the federal government pay approximately $13 billion over seven years, it would also help provide care for those the Bible calls the last, the least, and the lost.
"On Monday, the Controlling Board of the State of Ohio has the power to love our neighbors," Rev. Tracey Lind of the Trinity Cathedral said.
But even if the Controlling Board approves the Medicaid expansion Monday, that may not settle the matter. A number of Republican legislators have hinted at the possibility of a lawsuit if the vote does not go their way.