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Gov. John Kasich pushes ahead with Medicaid expansion

Gov. John Kasich pushes ahead with Medicaid expansion

(Columbus) - Gov. John Kasich's plan to expand health care coverage for low-income Ohioans has been dealt another blow.

A top Republican in the Ohio legislature says the Senate's version of the state budget won't include the governor's proposed Medicaid expansion.

"I do not believe Medicaid expansion is on the table as it relates to this legislation of the budget," said Senate President Keith Faber.

Faber says he's pushing for changes to the Medicaid program instead of the wide-ranging expansion plan. He repeatedly used the phrase "Medicaid reform" instead of expansion during a Wednesday news conference.

Lawmakers in the Ohio House already had stripped the Medicaid proposal that's a key element of President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

Kasich proposed going forward with the expansion in his two-year state budget plan. He says it's a way for the state to recapture Ohio taxpayers' federal money.

Just over 350,000 Ohio residents would be up for coverage if Medicaid expansion goes into place in 2014.

Faber says they've created a group to look at the issue, possibly in a separate bill.

"I don't care how they do it just do it. That's all I want to see done," said Gov. John Kasich who sees some "good signs" with the idea.

Kasich told reporters he knows big things don't happen overnight.

"I'm just going to keep at it because I think it's the right thing for our state," he said.

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(Photo by WTAM's Ken Robinson.)


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