Ohio House weighs override of Kasich veto of Medicaid freeze

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, right, joined by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, speaks during a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, Tuesday, June 27, 2017, about Republican legislation overhauling the Obama health care law. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The future of Ohio’s Medicaid expansion is in limbo as lawmakers weigh a veto override and expansion supporters work to stop them.

Republican Gov. John Kasich vetoed a budget provision Friday that calls for freezing new expansion enrollment starting July 1, 2018, and preventing those who drop off the program from re-enrolling.

The Kasich administration estimated 500,000 low-income adults would lose coverage within the first 18 months of the freeze.

The Republican-led Legislature supports reining in Medicaid spending as it threatens to consume Ohio’s budget.

Hundreds of people rallied at the Statehouse Wednesday to defend the expansion. Protesters included health care professionals, community activists, faith leaders and consumer advocates.

House Republicans were to meet Wednesday to determine if they have the votes to proceed.

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