Supreme Court Decision Expected Soon on Medicaid Expansion

A ruling by the Ohio Supreme Court is expected this month on the legality of the Kasich's administration's action to expand Medicaid by action of the State Controlling Board.

Less than a day after the Board’s vote to expand Medicaid, Cleveland Right to Life, Cincinnati Right to Life and six state representatives filed a lawsuit in the Ohio Supreme Court to block the expansion. The Kasich Administration then filed a response to the lawsuit, November 25.

The lawsuit argues that the Controlling Board violated the constitutional guarantee of separation of powers and that the executive branch does not have the power to make such a major policy change administratively.

Numerous amicus briefs supporting the administration's actions were filed by scores of organizations, including one jointly filed by the OOA, Ohio Hospital Association and Ohio State Medical Association. Other organizations supporting the administration ranged from advocacy groups like the American Cancer Society, American Association of Retired People and National Alliance of Mental Health to a wide variety of business organizations  like the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, Ohio Association of Health Plans, and Ohio Manufacturers Association. For a complete list of interested parties and copies of the various amicus briefs, go to http://1.usa.gov/195Ng0B.

If the Supreme Court upholds the Controlling Board’s action, legislators are already planning ways to allocate the $400 million that would be saved by Medicaid expansion. Sen. Chris Widener, who voted for the expansion on the Controlling Board, introduced a bill that would cut the state income tax by four percent. If the Supreme Court rules against the executive branch action, efforts to expand Medicaid will go forward with a ballot issue.   

 


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