Legislation

Ohio board approves spending to expand Medicaid

Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich is expected to sign legislation requiring, for example, that certain teachers work longer and pay more toward their pensions.

Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich is expected to sign legislation requiring, for example, that certain teachers work longer and pay more toward their pensions.  (AP)

Officials are clearing the way for thousands more Ohioans to receive health coverage under an expansion of Medicaid.

Ohio recently got approval from the federal government to extend Medicaid. However, Gov. John Kasich's administration needed legislators to approve spending additional federal money on newly eligible residents.

A board of six lawmakers and an administration official who handle certain adjustments to the state budget granted Kasich's spending request Monday.

Kasich, a Republican, has pushed for Medicaid expansion. But the GOP-controlled Legislature balked, so he turned to the little-known Controlling Board. The move to bypass the full Legislature has been criticized.

Medicaid expansion is a key component of the federal health overhaul. The U.S. government promises to pay for the expansion for three years, gradually phasing down to 90 percent.