Gov. John Kasich endorses the expansion

Supporters can now begin gathering signatures to put Medicaid expansion on the Ohio ballot next year. On Thursday the Ohio Ballot Board certified the initiative language.

Starting next year states have the opportunity to take part in the Medicaid expansion provided by the Affordable Care Act with the federal government covering most of the cost. Several Republican-controlled states though have rejected the expansion as part of an all out campaign against Obamacare.

If roughly 116,000 valid signatures are collected, the initiative will first go the state legislature. If the legislature fails to act on the initiative another 116,000 signatures can be collected to put the issue on the ballot.

The campaign behind the push is “Healthy Ohioans Work.” They hope the effort forces the Republican-controlled legislature to finally act on the issue soon, but are prepared to go through with putting it on the 2014 ballot if necessary.

Governor John Kasich (R) has endorsed the idea of taking part in the Medicaid expansion but the legislature has failed to act on it.