Ohio Medicaid Director John McCarthy announced this week that he is leaving his post sometime in December to "pursue opportunities in the private sector," Gov. Kasich's office said Monday (Source: “Ohio Medicaid chief resigns, will be replaced by former state Rep. Barbara Sears,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, Nov. 14, 2016).
Former state Rep. Barbara Sears, a Sylvania Republican who previously worked on healthcare and Medicaid legislation, has been tapped to replace him. Sears resigned from the House earlier this year to join Kasich's Office of Health Transformation.
Nearly 3 million poor and disabled Ohioans receive health insurance coverage through Medicaid. Ohio will spend more than $19 billion this fiscal year on the program -- a little more than half of the state's total general revenue fund spending.
Under Kasich, the Medicaid department became an independent cabinet agency and McCarthy was its first director. McCarthy oversaw the state's expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.