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Health & Science

Gov. Kasich Defends Medicaid Expansion with New Study and Testimonials

photo of Brenda Jean Searcy
Brenda Jean Searcy (with microphone) talks about how she depends on the Medicaid expansion program.

Gov. John Kasich continues to be concerned about the future of Medicaid expansion, even though he’s out of office in five months. He’s defending the program he pushed past skeptical state lawmakers in 2013 through a new study and through people who are in it.

“I am very grateful to have Medicaid. It has made my life much better and made me much healthier,” said Brenda Jean Searcy, a law student who lives with her 93-year-old dad in Westerville. She’s among 653,000 Ohioans now on Medicaid expansion.

Kasich joined his Medicaid department in bringing forward stories like Searcy’s to promote keeping the program. Richard Cordray, the Democratic candidate for governor, supports it, and Kasich said he’s talked to Republican candidate Mike DeWine about his support.

“I worry a little bit about somebody kind of (nickling) and diming it away somehow, a little bit here, a little bit there, but I think they’ll be for it,” Kasich said.

Medicaid said an independent study shows expansion has cut in half the number of uninsured Ohioans, and 96 percent of those in the program with opioid addiction got treatment.