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Government and Politics


Ohio's stateattorneys defend Medicaid expansion
Brief filed with the Ohio Supreme Court questions even the right of plaintiffs to challenge the expansion
by WKSU's MARK URYCKI


Reporter
Mark Urycki
 
In The Region:
State attorneys have filed a 300-page brief with the Ohio Supreme Court to support the Ohio Controlling Board’s action to expand Medicaid in Ohio. It answers a lawsuit filed by a half-dozen Republican state representatives trying to block the expansion.
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Gov. Kasich asked the State Controlling Board to approve funding for Medicaid expansion when his fellow Republicans in the Ohio Legislature refused to do so. The move would mean a larger share of the working poor would be covered by Medicaid and the federal government would send more than $13 billion over the next seven years to pay for it. 

Two anti-abortion groups and six state representatives, including Matt Lynch of Chagrin Falls, are suing the state Controlling Board and Ohio's Department of Medicaid over the decision. They want the Ohio Supreme Court to order the board to declare its decision as void.   

At issue is whether the board acted against the wishes of the Legislature. The budget passed by lawmakers specifically forbade the expansion of Medicaid, but Gov. Kasich vetoed that. Attorneys for Ohio argue the veto must be respected.

In their court filing yesterday, they argued the plaintiffs lacked standing to even bring the case. The state was joined by organizations including The Ohio State Medical Association, several Chambers of Commerce, the Ohio Hospital Association, and the Ohio National Guard Association. 

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