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Medicaid advocates: Ohio lawmakers must act soon

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Medicaid advocates are urging Ohio legislators to approve a measure to expand the state's Medicaid program before they recess for the summer.

Advocates told reporters Thursday the timing of the passage of the bill is critical.

Bob Spada (SPA'-dah) is board president of the National Alliance on Mental Illness Ohio. He says the state cannot afford to lose $13 billion in federal dollars should lawmakers not act in time.

A legislative committee has been presented with two proposals aimed at making changes to Medicaid in Ohio. But Ohio House Speaker William Batchelder says lawmakers will continue to work on the issue through the summer.

The expansion of the program is a key component of President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. Many of its provisions kick in Jan. 1.

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