Senate President: Medicaid Expansion Could Happen In 2013

Listen to the Story

Ohio could forfeit up to $13 billion in federal funding if it declines to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.(Photo: File photo)
Ohio could forfeit up to $13 billion in federal funding if it declines to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.(Photo: File photo)

The president of the Ohio senate says state lawmakers are open to pursuing a Medicaid bill before the end of the year.

Speaking at the City Club of Cleveland, Keith Faber says the bill would likely be a departure from the Medicaid expansion endorsed by Gov. John Kasich.

The Ohio House has rejected Kasich’s proposal to go along with the federal Medicaid expansion plan, which would cover hundreds of thousands of additional Ohioans.

Faber says senators know there’s a need for coverage among people with disabilities, mental health problems and addiction. And, he says, lawmakers are still open to what he calls Medicaid “reform.”

But he declined give definitive details.

“Will it mean the expansion that the governor proposed, or will it mean something else. My guess is that it will mean something else.

He says lawmakers are looking into getting a waiver from the federal government to depart from the Medicaid expansion as laid out by the Affordable Care Act.

Robin Bachman at Sisters of Charity Health System heard Faber’s remarks, and says she’s glad there’s still a chance the state will offer Medicaid coverage to more people.

He didn’t seem to shut the door on that, so it was hopeful in my mind. I would love to hear that it was going to happen sooner rather than later.

Bachman says she’s still hopeful Ohio will approve a full expansion.

Faber says he’d like to pass a bill by the end of the year.

Comments