By Tricia Bell, Multimedia Video Journalist - bio | email
LIMA, OHIO -
Mental health officials are reacting to new funding options now that republicans in the Ohio House of Representatives have removed Medicaid expansion from the state budget.
The plan to turn down the governor's Medicaid expansion proposal could cost mental illness and substance abuse programs up to $700 million over the next two years. Instead the politicians agreed to continue discussing health care coverage for the poor.
They are also backing a plan to instead add $100 million dollars in extra funding over the next two years for mental health and substance abuse services.
Michael Schoenhofer of the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board says he appreciates the extra $50 million annually-- but he's not sure it's enough to have a real impact.
Officials with the board have gone to the statehouse to advocate for the expansion.
Schoenhofer adds that if the state refuses the money, it will just go to residents in another state where the expansion has been approved.
What happens next with Medicaid in Ohio is up to the state senate.