General Assembly Considering Medicaid Legislation Outside of Budget Plan

Following the Ohio Senate’s decision to not include Medicaid expansion in its budget plan, members of the General Assembly are turning their attention to separate bills that address reforming the Medicaid program (source: “Bills may pave way to expand Medicaid,” Toledo Blade, June 14, 2013).

Identical bills introduced in the House and Senate this week address cost-containment and work-development, but do not address expansion. The bills would tie growth in the Medicaid program to the medical component of the Consumer Price Index and would require a new 10-member, legislative Joint Medicaid Oversight Committee to work to keep costs within those goals.

Hearings also will begin next week on a separate compromise proposed by Rep. Barbara Sears (R., Monclova) that would link some similar initiatives to control costs in Medicaid, but also includes the eligibility expansion Gov. Kasich included in his budget proposal.

The senate budget also included a section to extend a pilot program in a few rural regions of the state to allow family members to provide home- and community-based care under the PASSPORT program. PASSPORT provides home-based services to elderly Ohioans eligible for Medicaid.

The state has 12 PASSPORT regions, and the legislation would extend the service to three of the rural areas. Those specific areas have not yet been selected.

Source: Ohio Health Policy Review, June 14, 2013.

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