Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) delivers the State of the State address from Lima on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013.
LIMA, Ohio - Ohio Gov. John Kasich says extending Medicaid coverage to thousands of low-income residents will help the state on multiple levels.
The Republican governor proposed Medicaid expansion under the federal law in his two-year budget plan. He's framed the decision as recapturing Ohio taxpayers' federal money.
The state would see $2.4 billion from Washington to cover those newly eligible for Medicaid over the next two years beginning in July.
Many Republicans are averse to President Barack Obama's signature health care law and resistant to expanding government programs.
Kasich said in his State of the State speech Tuesday he knows the issue is controversial. But he says he's asking lawmakers to examine the issue carefully and examine their conscience.
He says the most vulnerable shouldn't be ignored, but lifted.