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Ohio Advocates Worry About Medicaid In Fiscal Cliff Talks

A group of governors from both major political parties met with President Obama and other White House officials today, to talk about the impact the so-called “fiscal cliff” could have on states. And as Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports, it’s something the governor and advocates from across the political spectrum have been worried about as well.

Medicaid is about a third of the state budget, and while federal funds for that program aren’t among the cuts that would automatically launch in the fiscal cliff, Republican Gov. John Kasich says he’s concerned cutting it would be considered an easy option. And Greg Lawson with the conservative Buckeye Institute says Kasich should also be worried about other cuts.

“To find out at the last minute before you have to introduce the budget that maybe you lost several hundred million dollars, that’s not going to be a joke.”

Jon Honeck with the liberal leaning Center for Community Solutions says he doubts the Obama administration will propose cuts in Medicaid, but cuts to programs in the states are likely coming.

“When the federal government is borrowing almost 40 cents on every dollar, I’ve got to believe that over time the folks in DC are going to be looking at all the possible alternatives.”

Kasich says he’s shared his concerns with Vice President Biden, who’s in charge of talking to governors about the fiscal cliff.