Today, House Democratic Leader Tracy Maxwell Heard expressed frustration with Rep. Ron Amstutz’s (R-Wooster) recent announcement that he is now seeking legislative action for Medicaid expansion on October 1st of this year.
“I think we are all starting to become a little more frustrated every time one of these false deadlines is paraded about,” said Leader Heard. “Rep. Amstutz’s announcement is the seventh time in three months that a he or Speaker Batchelder have changed the deadline for action on Medicaid this year.”
In early May, Speaker William G. Batchelder (R-Medina) set the first deadline for action on Medicaid expansion for June 30, 2013; nine days later, on May 17, the Speaker changed the deadline of action to the first day of autumn – September 22.
Later in May, the Speaker reverted to the June 30 deadline regarding Rep. Barbara Sears’ (R-Monclova Twp.) bill; and one month later, Speaker Batchelder gave a 45 to 55-day deadline, setting the date for action between August 8 and August 18.
“It is discouraging that no legislative action is even ongoing,” added Leader Heard. “It would be different if House members were actively working out legislative components of Medicaid expansion through the committee process, but we really have yet to see any action along those lines. I would encourage Republican leaders to bring us back to work before dragging out more tired and stale false deadlines.”
The most recent October 1st deadline announced by Rep Amstutz was preceded by a June 25th announcement from the lawmaker, setting the date between August 9 and August 19. In early July, the Speaker gave a deadline of immediately following Labor Day, setting the date at September 3.
It remains unclear whether the House will take any sort of action based on Rep. Amstutz’s latest announcement.