KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Ohio Gov. Needs One More Vote To Expand Medicaid

After trying unsuccessfully to get Medicaid expansion through the state legislature, Ohio Gov. John Kasich is asking a bipartisan board to expand the program under the federal health law. Ohio media outlets say he is shy a single vote.

Toledo Blade: Ohio Nears Medicaid Expansion
Instead of 132 lawmakers, six apparently will decide whether roughly 275,000 more Ohioans will be added to the Medicaid rolls under the federal health-care law. For eight months, Gov. John Kasich’s Medicaid expansion plan has gone nowhere with fellow Republicans, but on Friday he took steps to bypass the General Assembly and ask a bipartisan, mostly legislative panel to accept nearly $2.6 billion in federal funds to pay for it (Provance, 10/12).

Columbus Dispatch: One More 'Yes' Needed To Expand Medicaid
Kasich’s move follows a months-long stalemate with his fellow Republicans, who dominate the legislature, that can’t be broken — at least not in time to begin accepting the money under the Affordable Care Act on Jan. 1. Kasich just needs four people on the Controlling Board to approve his request. But so far it sounds like he has only three votes (Varden, 10/12).

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Kasich Administration Will Seek State Controlling Board's OK To Use Federal Funding To Expand Medicaid In Ohio
The Kasich administration will ask the controlling board at its next meeting for authority to spend about $2.5 billion in federal aid over the next two years to expand the state’s Medicaid program to cover Ohio’s working poor. Approval from the board, which meets Oct. 21, would clear the last hurdle toward expanding Medicaid in Ohio to cover people with incomes up to 138 percent of the poverty level. That group would be able to start getting health insurance coverage on Jan. 1, 2014, said Greg Moody, director of the state’s Office of Health Transformation (Higgs, 10/12).

Meanwhile, New Hampshire lawmakers are poised to take up the expansion question --

The Associated Press: N.H. Lawmakers To Take Up Medicaid Expansion Question
State Rep. Marjorie Porter sympathizes with people who would benefit from New Hampshire expanding Medicaid because she still owes medical bills from the four years when she was uninsured. ... After much angst, a special panel is poised to issue a report Tuesday recommending that New Hampshire add an estimated 49,000 poor adults to the state’s Medicaid program (Love, 10/14).

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