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Health & Science

Ohio Medicaid Director Says Expansion is Still Sustainable

photo of John Kasich and Barbara Sears
Medicaid Director Barbara Sears (right) says the Medicaid expansion program is still financially viable.

An argument is brewing in the race to become Ohio’s next governor. Medicaid expansion has been a crucial topic in the campaign with both candidates, Mike DeWine and Rich Cordray, who are taking different approaches to the issue. One piece of the debate is over whether the expansion is sustainable.

Republican candidate DeWine is now saying firmly that he wants to keep Medicaid expansion, although he argues that it’s unsustainable in its current form.

Medicaid Director Barbara Sears says the program is still financially viable, even as the federal reimbursement is about to decrease.

“But that’s by and large made up with our managed care tax and hospital fees so even from a dollar and cents standpoint, we can make a case for being sustainable,” she said.

DeWine proposes lowering costs by creating work requirements for healthy adults and more wellness programs. Democratic candidate Cordray has long been a supporter of Medicaid expansion and says the federal dollars make it a good deal for Ohio.