COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – The Latest on funding for Ohio’s Medicaid program (all times local):
A state funding allotment crucial to doctors, hospitals and other Ohio Medicaid providers has cleared a powerful legislative panel.
In a unanimous vote Monday, Ohio’s Controlling Board approved the state Medicaid director’s request for $264 million in state funding needed to qualify for $638 million in federal matching funds.
The panel was given unusual authority over Medicaid spending in Ohio’s latest state budget.
The administration of Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sik) had said that without funding approval, it would have to cut provider payments 16 percent beginning in January to keep the state budget in balance. Without the cuts, the agency projected it would run out of money by May 2018 and be unable to pay providers.
The decision affects 3 million people covered by state Medicaid programs.
Funding for Ohio’s Medicaid program, including the expansion championed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sik) over many fellow Republicans in Columbus and Washington, is hanging in the balance.
A powerful legislative spending panel must decide for the first time Monday whether to re-authorize state Medicaid spending. The program includes the expansion that now provides health insurance coverage for more than 700,000 low-income adults.
The state Controlling Board must release the state’s $264 million share in order to qualify for $638 million in federal matching funds.
Four years ago, Kasich allies stacked the panel to win initial approval for the expansion option made possible under the federal Affordable Care Act. He vetoed an attempt this year to freeze it.
However, GOP lawmakers successfully required board approval on all regular Medicaid spending.
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