The expansion is a major victory for supporters of the ACA, since Ohio will be one of the largest Republican-led states to approve the expansion. But Republican legislators have threatened to file suit to block the expansion.
The vote ends months of gridlock between Kasich and the Republican-controlled Legislature, which resisted the expansion. It means that those who will become newly eligible under the expansion can start to receive coverage as soon Jan. 1. The expansion is strongly favored by the state's healthcare providers.
Under the ACA, the federal government will pay 100% of the cost for expansion for the first three years, going down to 90% by 2020. Ohio is expected to receive about $13 billion over 10 years, a major reason Kasich pushed hard against members of his own party for the expansion.
Legislative Republicans had resisted expansion for months, citing opposition to ACA or their own beliefs against increased government spending as reasons.
Surprisingly, two Republican board members ended up voting yes after speculation that only one Republican on the board, state Rep. Chris Widender, would do so.
Ohio will become the 25th state along with the District of Columbia to expand its Medicaid program under ACA and the sixth with a Republican governor at the helm. Republican-led Michigan is submitting a modified Medicaid expansion to the Obama administration, and GOP-led Pennsylvania is considering expansion as well.
Follow Steven Ross Johnson on Twitter: @MHSjohnson