Politicos, hospitals voice very different opinions on Tuesday
A decision by Republican House leaders to omit Gov. John Kasich's Medicaid expansion plan is garnering mixed reactions from around the Buckeye State.
On Tuesday, Portage County's Tom Zawistowski - a Tea Party leader and candidate for chairman of the Ohio Republican Party - wrote a letter to Speaker Bill Batchelder and other House leaders to thank them for their decision. Zawistowski cited 14 reasons not to vote for the Medicaid expansion, paramount of which was the threat it posed to the GOP itself. Zawistowski wrote that including Kasich's plan in the budget "could be devastating to [the GOP's] chances as a party in the 2014 elections."
On the other hand, many hospital officials across Ohio lamented the decision to remove the expansion of Medicaid from the state budget proposal. Mike Abrams, President of the Ohio Hospitals Association, said his organization and others will work to ensure the state doesn’t miss the chance to provide health coverage to an estimated 275,000 Ohioans.
Rejecting the expansion means the state would forgo $13 billion from the federal government over the next seven years to cover those newly eligible for Medicaid.
Kasich framed his support for expanding Medicaid as a way to recapture Ohio taxpayers' federal money and help the state's most vulnerable get health care. House Speaker William Batchelder said there was a lack of clarity from Washington around the regulations under the law.