Ohio Supreme Court Fast Tracks Lawsuit Challenging Medicaid Expansion

November 4, 2013 AT 10:30 AM

The Supreme Court announced Thursday that it has put on the fast track the lawsuit trying to reverse the Ohio Controlling Board’s decision that freed up federal money for Medicaid expansion in the state.

The court said it expects the state’s answer to the suit to be filed by early next week and set a schedule that would have both sides filing their evidence and briefs containing their arguments before Thanksgiving. The final response brief would be due no later than the first week of December.

The attorney for the plaintiffs in the suit had petitioned the court for an expedited schedule. Attorney Maurice Thompson, the executive director of the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, said that his motion for the expedited schedule contends that “dire budgetary consequences could ensue” if the case is not decided before Jan. 1.

Jan. 1, 2014, is when the state would like to start its expanded Medicaid program, one that would extend coverage to people earning up to 138 percent of the poverty level. Gov. John Kasich said Thursday that he is confident the program will be expanded and that preparations would continue.

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