Gov. Kasich hasn't lost hope on Medicaid expansion for Ohio

COLUMBUS (AP) — Gov. John Kasich hasn’t given up hope that the Legislature will expand Medicaid under the federal health care law, even though the plan is unlikely to be included in the state’s two-year budget.

Kasich, a Republican, told reporters today that he’s giving lawmakers some breathing room to review Medicaid, the federal-state health care program for the poor and disabled.

“I’ll be combative when I have to be combative,” he said. “But there are times when you just have to be patient, and I’m willing to be patient here with our friends in the Legislature.”

Kasich’s fellow Republicans who control the Ohio House dropped Medicaid expansion from the state’s two-year budget before sending it to the Senate last month. And the Senate’s GOP leader has said his chamber’s version of the spending plan won’t include expansion.

House lawmakers have started examining potential changes to Medicaid and exploring what the state can do to give beneficiaries a pathway out of the program and into private health care. Senate President Keith Faber, a Celina Republican, also has said that Medicaid reform is not dead in Ohio.

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