Two Members Of Board Considering Vote On Medicaid Expansion Replaced

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UPDATE 1:51 p.m. A libertarian law center says it will sue if Ohio approves Medicaid expansion, and a lawmaker says Gov. John Kasich's fellow Republicans would be the likely plaintiffs.

Two state Controlling Board members were replaced by Ohio's House speaker before Monday's vote, signaling likely approval.

State Rep. Ron Young says the planned lawsuit would argue the Controlling Board is violating the Legislature's intent by approving Kasich's expansion request. He says the board is setting a precedent "extremely dangerous" to Ohio's balance of powers.

The administration says clearing expansion funding is within the board's power.

The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law was preparing the lawsuit. Its director said it was too early to discuss the plaintiffs or defendants or where it would be filed. He didn't expect Kasich to be named.

Funding Medicaid expansion is more likely to be approved in Ohio now that two Republican members of a legislative panel have been replaced.

A spokesman for the House speaker says he's asked GOP Reps. Ross McGregor and Jeff McClain to serve on the Controlling Board at Monday's meeting.

McGregor says he supports Medicaid expansion.

Ohio recently got approval from the federal government to extend Medicaid eligibility. However, Gov. John Kasich's administration needs legislative sign-off to spend federal dollars on newly eligible residents.

He's turned to the seven-member Controlling Board.

The panel includes two Democrats and a Kasich appointee who are expected to favor the request Monday. That left the governor in search of a single Republican vote.