Ohio says board had authority to OK Medicaid money

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Attorneys for the state of Ohio deny that a legislative panel acted without authority in approving funding for an expansion of Medicaid.

Anti-abortion groups and six Republican lawmakers are suing the state over last month's move by the state Controlling Board. At issue is whether the board thwarted the Legislature's intent when it cleared the way for the federal money to be spent on health coverage for thousands more Ohioans.

In a court filing on Tuesday, Ohio's attorneys argued the plaintiffs lacked standing in the case and have failed to demonstrate a need for relief.

The plaintiffs want the Ohio Supreme Court to order the board to declare its decision void and stop the state's Department of Medicaid from using the panel's spending authority to move forward with expansion.

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