Ohioans should know that a majority at the Statehouse likely favors expanding Medicaid. Take the Ohio House. Add 39 Democrats to 11 Republicans (out of 60 in the majority) willing to follow the lead of fellow party member Gov. John Kasich, and you have reached the required number for approval. With the House and the governor on board, surely seven Republicans could be rounded up to join Senate Democrats in passage.
Practically everyone champions bipartisanship. Well, Medicaid expansion has just such support.
And that support reflects the thinking of Ohioans, according to a poll by the University of Cincinnati released last week. The survey shows 63 percent favoring the expansion. A majority of Republicans are opposed, yet a significant share say yes. Already, the debate has revealed strong backing from business and health-care groups.
All that is required is a straight-up vote in each chamber. Instead, Republican legislative leaders block the way, yanking the governor’s proposal from the state budget plan, talking mysteriously about “reform,” hinting about action to come later.
They’re with the 30 percent opposed. (Seven percent don’t have a view). The broad consensus matters little — about opportunities for those with severe mental illness, or shoring up hospital finances, or an economic boost Ohio could use.