Gov. John Kasich continues to be concerned about the future of Medicaid expansion after he’s out of office in five months. He's defending the program he pushed past skeptical state lawmakers in 2013 through a new study and through people who are in it.
“I am very grateful to have Medicaid. It has made my life much better and made me much healthier," said Brenda Jean Searcy, is a law student who lives with her 93-year-old dad in Westerville. She’s among 653,000 Ohioans now on Medicaid expansion.
Kasich joined his Medicaid department in bringing forward stories like Searcy’s to promote keeping the program. Democratic candidate for governor Richard Cordray supports it, and Kasich says he’s talked to Republican Mike DeWine about his support. “I worry a little bit about somebody kind of nicking and diming it away somehow – a little bit here, a little bit there – but I think they’ll be for it,” Kasich said.
Medicaid said an independent study shows expansion has cut in half the number of uninsured Ohioans, and 96% of those in the program with opioid addiction got treatment.