Ohio joined the list of states expanding Medicaid for Americans under 133 percent of the federal poverty line on Monday, after a special seven-member budgetary oversight panel made up of state lawmakers gave final approval to Gov. John Kasich’s (R) decision to grow the program via executive order.
Kasich had to procure approval from a special panel of seven lawmakers in order to actually spend the federal money that facilitates the expansion. That approval came on Monday in a 5-2 vote, securing Kasich a long-sought victory and setting the stage for inevitable legal challenges questioning the legality of the maneuver.
Medicaid expansion, a key provision of the Affordable Care Act, is expected to cut Ohio’s uninsurance rate by over 60 percent and extend basic health benefits to 275,000 of the poorest Ohio residents. According to the Advisory Board Company, 26 states are trying to move forward with some form of Medicaid expansion, while 22 are not, and the rest still remain undecided.