Ohio gov sees Medicaid ally in food bank backers - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Ohio gov sees Medicaid ally in food bank backers

Posted: Updated:

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Gov. John Kasich implored supporters of the state's food banks on Thursday to help him convince his fellow Republicans in the Legislature to extend Medicaid coverage to thousands of Ohio residents.

"I need you in there talking to Republicans particularly about what this means," Kasich told a gathering of representatives from food banks across the state and the farmers they work with to get food.

The GOP controls both chambers of the Legislature, whose approval Kasich needs to expand coverage under the taxpayer-funded health insurance program.

"They have good hearts, but we have to reach some of the hearts of the people that aren't yet convinced," Kasich said of his Republican colleagues.

Under President Barack Obama's signature health care law, Medicaid expansion was initially mandatory. But the U.S. Supreme Court made it optional for states.

Kasich included his decision to expand coverage in his 2-year state budget proposal. State lawmakers are currently holding hearings on the plan.

Many Republicans are averse to the Democratic president's law and resistant to expanding government programs.

Mike Dittoe, a spokesman for the Ohio House Republicans, said GOP lawmakers aren't questioning Kasich.

"The debate surrounding the governor's plan is, for some members, whether or not we are in a fiscal position to add more people to the state's Medicaid rolls," Dittoe said. "And really, the bigger question is whether or not the federal government will live up to its commitment?"

The federal-state health program for the poor that already provides care for 1 of every five residents in the state.

The federal government will pay the entire cost of the Medicaid expansion for the first three years, gradually phasing down to 90% - still well above the current level of 64%. Even at those generous rates, however, some state lawmakers say they fear being stuck with long-term costs.

Dittoe said the GOP caucus believes in helping the poor and less fortunate in some way. "It's a matter of how we go about doing that."

The state would see $13 billion from the federal government over the next seven years to cover those newly eligible for Medicaid, according to the Kasich administration. Roughly 366,000 Ohio residents would be eligible for coverage under the expansion beginning in 2014.

The federal law is using health insurance exchanges to allow higher-income people to buy health plans. But without the expansion, there would be a group of people who would likely go uncovered. With the expansion, an adult without children earning up to $15,415 can be added to Medicaid.

Speaking at the event across the street from the Statehouse in Columbus, Kasich told food bank supporters on Thursday that he sees a link in their missions to help those less fortunate.

"We've got to organize here soon," he said. "We gotta be over there in that building on Medicaid expansion. No is not acceptable. No is not acceptable."

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • More From wfmj.comHot ClicksMore>>

  • AP-NORC Poll: For many online Americans, Facebook is a habit

    AP-NORC Poll: For many online Americans, Facebook is a habit

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 1:42 PM EDT2018-04-25 17:42:16 GMT
    (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File). FILE- In this Jan. 13, 2016, file photo, Icons for Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest are displayed on a window in New York. A new poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research says 12 perc...(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File). FILE- In this Jan. 13, 2016, file photo, Icons for Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest are displayed on a window in New York. A new poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research says 12 perc...
    Nearly half of Americans who use the internet say they use Facebook at least several times a day, with Facebook-owned Instagram coming in No. 2 among social media sites.More >>
    Nearly half of Americans who use the internet say they use Facebook at least several times a day, with Facebook-owned Instagram coming in No. 2 among social media sites.More >>
  • AP-NORC poll: Privacy debacle prompts social-media changes

    AP-NORC poll: Privacy debacle prompts social-media changes

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 1:42 PM EDT2018-04-25 17:42:09 GMT
    (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File). FILE - In this March 26, 2018, file photo, a man poses for photos in front of a computer showing Facebook ad preferences pages in San Francisco. If you’ve made changes to how you use social media since Facebook’s Cambridge A...(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File). FILE - In this March 26, 2018, file photo, a man poses for photos in front of a computer showing Facebook ad preferences pages in San Francisco. If you’ve made changes to how you use social media since Facebook’s Cambridge A...
    AP-NORC poll: Facebook's privacy debacle prompts social-media cutbacks.More >>
    AP-NORC poll: Facebook's privacy debacle prompts social-media cutbacks.More >>
  • Correction: Waffle House Shooting-Gunman story

    Correction: Waffle House Shooting-Gunman story

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 1:19 PM EDT2018-04-25 17:19:38 GMT
    (Lacy Atkins/The Tennessean via AP). In this Monday, April 23, 2018 photo, Travis Reinking, suspected of killing four people in a late-night shooting at a Waffle House restaurant, is escorted into the Hill Detention Center in Nashville, Tenn., Monday, ...(Lacy Atkins/The Tennessean via AP). In this Monday, April 23, 2018 photo, Travis Reinking, suspected of killing four people in a late-night shooting at a Waffle House restaurant, is escorted into the Hill Detention Center in Nashville, Tenn., Monday, ...
    Waffle House gunman's erratic behavior began years before Tennessee restaurant attack.More >>
    Waffle House gunman's erratic behavior began years before Tennessee restaurant attack.More >>
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms