COLUMBUS: The Republican newly chosen as Ohio's House speaker says big Medicaid cuts are likely in the face of an expected $8 billion state budget shortfall.
Rep. William Batchelder tells The Columbus Dispatch the state will have to seek federal permission to put ''a lot'' of new limits on Medicaid eligibility. The program provides health insurance for the poor and disabled.
Batchelder talked to the newspaper Tuesday after a speech to Ohio retailers in which he said the budget poses a ''huge challenge'' for lawmakers.
The GOP won a majority in the Ohio House on Election Day following two years of Democratic control.
Batchelder's fellow Republicans elected him speaker on Wednesday. He's a 34-year veteran of the Ohio House.