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Despite Complaints, Medicaid Expansion Funding Approved By Ohio Panel

Office of Budget and Management Director Tim Keen and Ohio Medicaid Director Barbara Sears answer questions from the Ohio Controlling Board in the Ohio Senate Building.
Andy Chow
/
Ohio Public Radio
Office of Budget and Management Director Tim Keen and Ohio Medicaid Director Barbara Sears answer questions from the Ohio Controlling Board in the Ohio Senate Building.

For the first time since lawmakers required it in the budget, Gov. John Kasich’s administration made a trip to the Ohio Statehouse to ask a panel of legislators to release hundreds of millions of dollars to fund Medicaid.

The Controlling Board voted to approve Medicaid’s use of more than $264 million. Republican Sen. Bill Coley was among the yes votes.

However he and many Republican lawmakers would still like to end Medicaid expansion. They tried to do in the budget, but Kasich vetoed that.

“But it’s not happening right now, so we’ve got to deal with what’s in front of us," Coley said. "And I think what’s in front of us right now is an administration who is communicating a commitment to some waivers to the Medicaid program that’ll make true changes and make true improvement."

Coley says without those waivers to control costs, he would’ve voted down the appropriation request. The state needed that money in order to get $630 million in matching funds from the feds.