“The governor, I think, has the authority to do that,” said Senate President Keith Faber, R-Celina. “It’s certainly within his prerogative. I’m a defender of legislative rights, and I would think the better solution would be a legislative option, but the governor does have that authority."The expansion would add about 275,000 low-income state residents to the Medicaid program. It's a problematic approach. Kasich would need at least one vote from a Republican legislator on the board, and would likely invite legal challenges. But the expansion would cover about 275,000 low-income Ohioans, and potentially save the state's Medicaid program.
Faber noted that the governor could do the expansion by executive order and then seek Controlling Board authority to spend the money. He then described what could happen if the board denies the request.
“If you don’t do that, Medicaid ... goes bankrupt,” Faber said. “It’s premature to discuss what would happen or not happen, but I don’t think anyone wants a bankrupt existing Medicaid program."
Gov. John Kasich, in caricature.