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Many Ideas, Little Agreement On How To Spend Medicaid Expansion Savings


Federally-funded Medicaid expansion is projected to save the state over $400 million. Now, lawmakers and other groups are pitching their ideas for how to use that money. There's not a lot of agreement on what to do with the savings. Emily McCord speaks to Ohio Public Radio's Jo Ingles about the different options on the table.

Ohio Senator Chris Widener (R-Springfield) sit on the controlling board that approved Medicaid expansion. It was not a popular decision among Republicans, but Ingles reports that Widener defended his decision by saying the state would save money  and proposed a bill that would give Ohioans an additional income tax cut. The tax break would be on top of a 10 percent income tax cut already approved in the state budget by 2015. 

But Dale Butland, with the left-leaning think tank Innovation Ohio, says an additional tax cut won't really help Ohioans, and instead argues the savings should be used to bolster public school funding. Ingles reports that many other groups have offered ideas as to how to spend the revenue, but she says the whole question of how to spend the savings could be moot if Medicaid expansion doesn't pass the legal hurdles ahead.