Lawsuit Challenging Medicaid Expansion Filed in Ohio Supreme Court


A Health Care E-Alert

Just 24 hours after the Controlling Board authorized $2.56 billion in federal money to expand Medicaid, various interests filed a lawsuit yesterday in the Ohio Supreme Court to block this particular path to expansion. The Ohio Attorney General has 21 days to either respond or file a motion to dismiss. However, unless the Supreme Court rules otherwise, Medicaid expansion will continue while the lawsuit proceeds.

After months of unsuccessful efforts to expand Medicaid through the legislative process, Gov. Kasich sought and won Controlling Board approval for the expansion. The lawsuit argues that the Controlling Board has usurped the constitutional guarantee of separation of powers and that the executive branch of government does not have the power to make such a major policy change administratively.

The plaintiffs include Cleveland Right to Life, Cincinnati Right to Life and six state representatives. The lawsuit has been filed against the Controlling Board and the Department of Medicaid, both of which would be prohibited from receiving the federal $2.56 billion should the lawsuit prevail.

Should the lawsuit fail, legislators are already planning ways to allocate the $400 million that would be saved by Medicaid expansion. Yesterday, Sen. Chris Widener — who was among the Controlling Board members that voted in favor of Medicaid expansion — introduced a bill that would cut the state income tax by four percent.

Read a copy of the lawsuit.

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