House Majority Floor Leader Barbara Sears (R- Sylvania) unveiled legislation this week that would expand Medicaid coverage to childless adults under 138 percent of the federal poverty line—a move that Governor Kasich attempted in his biennial budget.
Under the Affordable Care Act, the full cost of the expansion would be covered by the federal government for three years with the federal share phasing down to 90 percent thereafter. Sears’ bill includes a provision that would cease to cover the new population should the federal share be further reduced in the future—a concern many Republican legislators share.
Sears’ bill also requires the Medical Assistance Director to implement reforms aimed at improving the health of Medicaid recipients while reducing the cost of health care and uncompensated care. Additionally, the bill requires the director to promote employment-related services and job training to assist Medicaid recipients into the workforce.
It is unclear whether the bill will have the support of the House majority caucus to receive swift approval prior to the legislative summer break. Sears said it is her hope the bill will pass alongside the biennial budget, which must pass by June 30, 2013.