Groups Support, Oppose Medicaid Expansion Plan

Jul 5, 2013

Republican Ohio Governor John Kasich vetoed portions of the state budget that prohibited Medicaid expansion.

Businesses and advocates for the elderly and the poor say the decision by majority Republicans in the legislature to reject Kasich's expansion plan means 275 thousand people still lack access to health care coverage. Among them is Bill Sundermeyer of the Ohio chapter of the American Association for Retired Persons.

Sundermeyer says his group is part of a broad-based coalition of hospitals, businesses, faith and labor leaders that is asking legislative leaders to schedule Medicaid expansion hearings.

Leaders have promised to work on the issue over the summer, which could mean a resolution by mid-August. Meanwhile, an Ohio Tea Party leader says he will use the IRS to fight the Governor's Medicaid expansion plan. Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler reports.

Some opponents of Medicaid expansion are angry that highly-paid executives with hospitals are campaigning for the proposal. And Portage County Tea Party executive director Tom Zawistowski says he wants to challenge those leaders and their salaries.

“There’s an IRS provision that allows, this form you can fill out that asks the IRS to investigate whether the compensation is fair or not. And we think those questions need to be asked of these executives who are really behind pushing the Medicaid expansion.”

A spokesperson for the Ohio Hospital Association says salaries are dictated by community boards. Zawistowski adds that he’s been speaking to Republican and conservative groups and says support for Gov. Kasich is waning – and, quoting him here: “There definitely will be challenges to Gov. Kasich – I know that for a fact.”