Supporters of a proposal to expand Medicaid can start collecting signatures to put the issue before Ohio voters next year – though they continue to say they don’t want to have to do that.
The Ohio Ballot Board approved their proposal as a single ballot issue, which means they can start their petition drive. Matt Papich with Healthy Ohioans Work says the coalition of Medicaid expansion supporters is ready to go.
"We're in the process of looking at those next steps. We do want to get out in the field as soon as we can because we do have a relatively short window coming up here in December. We're very pleased with the actions of the ballot board and we will be moving forward,” Papich says.
Healthy Ohioans Work would have to gather 116,000 signatures to put Medicaid expansion before lawmakers, and if they don’t act within four months, they’d gather more signatures to put the issues before voters. But the group still says it wants lawmakers to pass Medicaid expansion when they return to the Statehouse in October, because that would allow the state to capture more of the federal funding that will become available on January 1.