Ohio Supreme Court Upholds Medicaid Expansion by Controlling Board

Ohio Gov. John Kasich campaigns for expanding Medicaid at the Cleveland Clinic in October. (Nick Castele / ideastream)
Ohio Gov. John Kasich campaigns for expanding Medicaid at the Cleveland Clinic in October. (Nick Castele / ideastream)
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The Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court, Maureen O’Connor, says the state budget bill that was passed and signed into law this year gives the state’s Medicaid program the right to increase appropriations to cover the cost of expanding Medicaid.

The state’s highest court says it is constitutional to allow the controlling board, a panel of legislative leaders, to allow the Medicaid department to accept the federal funds that would allow for expansion of Medicaid.

The Ohio General Assembly did not pass Medicaid expansion, so Gov. John Kasich, a strong proponent of it, used the controlling board as a way to accomplish that goal.

Cleveland Right to Life brought suit over the Medicaid issue, saying the controlling board’s action violated Ohio’s constitution. Now the Ohio Supreme Court has disagreed in this 4-3 opinion.

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