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Gov. Kasich Says Obamacare's Medicaid Expansion Helped in State Opiate Battle

John Kasich in New Hampshire
Ohio Governor John Kasich has received criticism in the past for expanding Medicaid in the state.

As Republicans in Congress debate the idea of repealing the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare, Gov. John Kasich is crediting part of that law for helping fight the war on opiates in Ohio. 

Kasich says the state has spent millionsfighting prescription painkillers, opioids and other illegal drugsand has put in place programs that are working. And he credits one part of the Affordable Health Care Act for helping too.

“Thank God we expanded Medicaid because that Medicaid money is helping to rehab people.”

Kasich says the Medicaid dollars are being used for treatment and programs that help addicts get off drugs. Kasich’s hoping a new bill he just signed into law that strengthens prescription drug oversight will also help fight addiction in Ohio. A recent report shows Ohio leads the nation in deaths from opioid overdoses.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment. Jo started her career in Louisville, Kentucky in the mid 80’s when she helped produce a televised presidential debate for ABC News, worked for a creative services company and served as a general assignment report for a commercial radio station. In 1989, she returned back to her native Ohio to work at the WOSU Stations in Columbus where she began a long resume in public radio.