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State Board Approves Medicaid Expansion in Ohio
UPDATE (10/22/2013, 5:31 p.m.) -- Several state lawmakers are among a group that has filed a lawsuit to prevent the expansion of Medicaid in Ohio.
COLUMBUS (Ken Hines) -- Governor Kasich has received approval from a state board to expand Medicaid in Ohio after previously being denied by his fellow Republicans in the legislature.
Members of the state's Controlling Board voted 5-2 Monday to accept $13 billion of federal aid to fund the expansion of Medicaid to more than 350,000 Ohioans.
Earlier efforts by Kasich to convince state lawmakers to participate in the expansion were shot down by the Republican-controlled legislature.
Undeterred, Kasich took his request to the controlling board, a little-known, but powerful, group that possesses the ability to approve state spending projects.
If the expansion goes into effect, it will initially be fully-funded by money made available through the Affordable Care Act. Federal funds for the expansion are scheduled to be gradually reduced by 10 percent.
Despite Monday's approval, the expansion's future is not yet guaranteed due to the threat of a lawsuit from dozens of Republican legislators who maintain that the board does not have the authority to make such a move.
For the time being, though, Ohio stands as the 25th state to approve Medicaid expansion; the eighth with a Republican governor.