Backers of Medicaid expansion have started to gather petition signatures to get the issue before voters should the Legislature fail to act.
Jon Allison of the Ohio Alliance for Health Transformation says the group would prefer the General Assembly pass an extension proposed by Republican Governor John Kasich but rejected by majority legislative Republicans. Medicaid will be the top agenda item when lawmakers return to the Statehouse in October after their summer recess. Kasich pushed lawmakers during the recess to expand the program, but some say they have yet to talk with him about the issue. And Republican Ohio House Speaker Bill Batchelder says he's not sure where his 60-member caucus stands as a whole on expansion.
Democrats have wanted Kasich to call the legislature back into session, saying that expanding Medicaid by October 1st is key to capturing the maximum amount of federal funding that could come with it. But the Kasich administration and some Republican lawmakers have said the deadline is not critical, and the state's Medicaid agency will be ready if changes are made after October 1st.