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Government and Politics

Ohio's Medicaid supporters take another step to circumvent GOP lawmakers
But they're still hoping the Ohio Legislature will side with Gov. Kasich and extend Medicaid to nearly 300,000 more Ohioans

Karen Kasler
Medicaid expansion supporter Matt Papich appears before the Ohio Ballot Board.
Courtesy of KAREN KASLER
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In The Region:

Supporters of a proposal to expand Medicaid can start collecting signatures to put the issue before Ohio voters next year – though they continue to say they don’t want to have to do that.

The Ohio Ballot Board today OK’d their proposal as a single-ballot issue, which means they can start their petition drive. Matt Papich with Healthy Ohioans Work says the coalition of Medicaid supporters is ready to go.

LISTEN: Papich on where the issue goes from here

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“We’re in the process of looking at those next steps. We’re certainly going to get out in the field relative as soon as we can because we do have a relatively short window coming up here in December. We’re very pleased with the action of the ballot board and we’ll be moving forward.” 

Healthy Ohioans Work will have to gather 116,000 signatures to put Medicaid expansion before the Ohio Legislature. If lawmakers don’t act within four months, the expansion supporters would gather more signatures to get the issue on the November 2014 ballot.

But the group is still hoping lawmakers pass Medicaid expansion when they return to the Statehouse in October. That would allow the state to capture more of the federal funding that will become available on Jan. 1.

The Cato Institute opposes the expansion of Medicaid in Ohio. Here's a transcript of the testimony of to lawmakers: 

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