The leader of the Ohio Senate said he could have chosen his words more carefully when he likened the decision to expand Medicaid to being given an ultimatum in the face of a loaded weapon.
The comment was “probably inartful,” Senate President Keith Faber said Monday.
Faber, R-Celina, told the Lima News that President Barack Obama’s signature health care law didn’t give the state much flexibility when it came to extending Medicaid coverage to more low-income Ohioans. The health care program for the poor and disabled is jointly funded by the federal and state governments.
“They essentially loaded the revolver and pointed it at the states, and said do this or else,” he told the newspaper in an article posted online Saturday.
Asked about the comment in an interview with The Associated Press on Monday, Faber said, “That’s probably inartful on my part. The point is is that the federal government has put us in a bad situation.”
The Medicaid expansion is one of the key components of the federal Affordable Care Act. Of the nearly 30 million people expected to gain insurance coverage under the law, about half would get it from the Medicaid expansion. A Supreme Court ruling allowed states to decide for themselves whether to expand the program.
Republican Gov. John Kasich proposed going forward with the expansion in his two-year budget plan.