COLUMBUS—State Representative Wes Goodman (R-Cardington) announced that the Ohio House took the historic step of overriding 11 of Governor Kasich’s 47 line-item vetoes to the biennial operating budget recently passed by the General Assembly. Of these 11 overrides, 9 were related to Medicaid, including:


? Prohibiting the executive from covering optional eligibility groups without legislative approval
? Increasing legislative oversight for Medicaid rate increases
? Requiring Controlling Board authorization for certain Medicaid expenditures
? Prohibiting the release of funds for Medicaid expansion if Congress acts to reduce the Federal percentage funding for the expansion population 9
? Requesting a Federal waiver to establish “Healthy Ohio” program to incentivize and improve health care outcomes


Representative Goodman made the following statement:


“These provisions restored by the House’s overrides are important for the legislature to regain its rightful authority over the Medicaid program and to put the brakes on spending that has grown out of control. The Medicaid program grew 21.26% between FY 2014 and FY 2016. It now represents over 50 percent of the state’s budget. If we are to focus on other priority areas such as education, criminal justice, and fighting the opioid crisis, it is imperative that the legislature increases accountability over Medicaid’s exploding spending.


“Yet, more must and will be done. It’s not enough to keep a closer watch on the Medicaid purse, we need to shift our priorities for the program. In April, I proposed that an enrollment freeze on Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion population be added to Ohio’s budget during House deliberations. This freeze was eventually added by the Senate, and later approved by the House and Senate. To my disappointment, the Governor vetoed this common-sense provision.


“This unfortunate veto prevents Ohio from shifting its priorities back to the truly vulnerable, of which nearly 60,000 currently sit on waiting lists for traditional Medicaid services. Instead, the state will continue to accept new enrollees into the Obamacare expansion, which already contains 725,000 mostly able-bodied, childless adults—over 275,000 more individuals than the administration originally projected would enroll by 2020. This will add to the billions of dollars that Ohio already spends on the expansion, a situation that is made more urgent by Federal progress to repeal and replace Obamacare, ending enhanced federal matching funds for expansion. In addition, recent nonpartisan polling shows that Ohioans support this provision by a 17-point margin.


“While the House has not yet overrode the Governor’s misguided veto of this provision yet, I am confident that we will in the very near future. I’d like to thank our leadership and my colleagues for their thoughtful consideration of this provision and know that we will all continue to discuss these important issues with our constituents during our summer district work period. This is too important to ignore and not get right, and I look forward to returning to Columbus in the fall to continue the people’s work.”


This is the first time that the Ohio House has opted to override a veto during Kasich’s over six-year tenure. The 11 provisions receiving a favorable override vote will now go to the Ohio Senate for consideration.

 
 
 
  
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