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Democrats Question Whether Budget Creates Health Barriers

Democrats on a state legislative panel are questioning whether Republican Gov. John Kasich's budget could create barriers to health care after boosting access for some. The governor's $72.3 billion budget proposal would continue to fund an expansion of the Medicaid health program, which serves low-income residents. The administration also has said it would seek authority from federal officials to charge a monthly premium to recipients above 100 percent of poverty. Rep. Denise Driehaus of Cincinnati said she and her fellow Democrats see some of Kasich's proposed policies as going against his move to expand coverage. State officials who oversee health and social service programs told the House Finance Committee the proposed changes encourage personal responsibility from recipients as the administration seeks to move people out of poverty.