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Kasich defends using controlling board for Medicaid expansion

Kasich defends using controlling board for Medicaid expansion

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- Gov. John Kasich is defending his decision to turn to a legislative spending panel to push through an expansion of Medicaid rather than relying on the full Ohio legislature.

Kasich says his administration followed the rules and wasn't thwarting the General Assembly when it put the proposal before the state controlling board.

"It's all within the rules. We're fine," Kasich told reporters.

Kasich said Thursday the board's vote is done and he's moving on try to help a lot of people.

"When I see these people it just makes me feel so good that things are going to be done to help them," he said.

The seven-member controlling board approved Kasich's request earlier this month to spend $2.56 billion in federal money to cover thousands more poor families and children with an expansion of Medicaid.

Kasich went to the board after fellow Republican lawmakers blocked him in the legislature.

Two anti-abortion groups and six GOP lawmakers are suing over the controlling board move. The Ohio Supreme Court has decided to fast-track the case because the program goes into effect at the first of the year.

"One thing that I tell people when I make speeches is that I'd like some applause because I am not a lawyer. Let the lawyers take care of the lawyer stuff, I just don't get into them," he said.

Kasich was asked about helping the state's less-fortunate. He says while there is no question that some people who will benefit from state programs are out to game the system, "that's not the bulk of people."

"I want metrics. I don't want expanded bureaucracy. I don't want bigger buildings. I just want to help these folks, I want to monitor the program and I want them to get their lives back," he said.

 

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