Gov. John Kasich and top aides have spent the past several days publicly and privately selling a major expansion of Ohio’s Medicaid system, seemingly paving the way for a plan to provide health care for about 400,000 more Ohioans as part of the governor’s budget on Monday.
Greg Moody, head of the Governor’s Office of Health Transformation, was dispatched to meet privately with GOP lawmakers last week, both as a group and individually. He was to emphasize the positive aspects of expanding Medicaid, the federal-state health-care program for the poor and disabled. The administration is emphasizing how the federal government will pick up the bulk of the cost until 2020, but it says if that changes, Kasich’s plan will include a “trigger” allowing Ohio to roll back the expansion.
Under the health-care law, federal funds would pick up the cost for the newly eligible for the first three years, with federal payments dropping to 90 percent by 2020. A nonpartisan report last month found that even if Ohio pays to enroll more uninsured in Medicaid, those costs will be more than offset by savings on prisoner care and mental-health services, in addition to higher tax revenue, for several years.