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Medicaid Expansion Unlikely To Be Part of State Budget Says Senate President

It looks like Medicaid expansion won’t likely be part of the proposed two year state budget that will come out of the Ohio Senate.

Governor John Kasich, Business leaders and even Democrats want Medicaid expansion in the Ohio Budget.  But Republican Ohio Senate President Keith Faber says that’s unlikely.

"You need two chambers to move a bill and the house has indicated they simply don’t have the votes to get Medicaid expansion done in the budget," says Faber.  "Therefore I do not believe Medicaid expansion is on the table as it relates to this legislation in the budget."

Faber says a group of Senators are working on Medicaid reforms…and he says it could possibly be considered as a stand-alone bill outside the budget.  Wendy Patton with Policy Matters Ohio is disappointed.

"It makes sense as part of the budget process because it complements other moving parts within the budget," says Patton.

Patton says putting Medicaid in the budget would allow the state to do more with its Medicaid dollars.  She says her coalition of Medicaid expansion supporters will continue to push for it in the budget.  Governor Kasich tells reporters he’ll fight for it too.

"With Medicaid?  We have to all move together and I don’t think it’s not all over yet.  That’s not the sign I’m getting.  Are you getting that sign?  I think there’s a way to go but we are not going to give it up," says Kasich.