No Medicaid expansion freeze a win for Ohioans
Posted July 06, 2017 in Press Releases
Policy Matters Ohio also lauds House for overriding veto on funds for counties, transit agencies
The Ohio House of Representatives today overrode 11 of Governor John Kasich’s vetoes to the recently approved state budget bill, but the overrides did not include the freeze on Medicaid expansion that would have deprived hundreds of thousands of Ohioans of health care coverage.
“We applaud the state representatives who stood with low-income Ohioans and maintained access to this crucial program,” said Wendy Patton, senior director of Policy Matters Ohio’s state fiscal project. “Protection of health insurance for all makes people and families healthier and more productive. It also supports a strong health care sector and brings billions of federal dollars into Ohio, which flow to the local economies of every county in the state.”
Unfortunately, the House overrode the Kasich veto of a provision requiring that the so-called “Healthy Ohio” plan be resubmitted to the federal government. Last year, almost a thousand Ohioans protested this harsh plan as the state sought a waiver of U.S. Medicaid rules to implement new costs for the poorest Ohioans, with a lock-out for those who couldn’t pay. The Senate should refuse to override this veto when it meets next week, along with other House overrides that will add unneeded new steps for Medicaid expansion to continue through the budget period. Despite these House overrides, rejecting the Medicaid expansion freeze is an important step in the right direction.
Policy Matters Ohio also praised the House for overriding another Kasich veto so that the state will be able to seek federal approval of a way for counties and transit agencies to continue receiving about $200 million in annual revenue that had been threatened.
“We are grateful for the leadership of Representatives Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati), Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) and Jay Edwards (R-Nelsonville) and Senator Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) in reversing this serious loss to counties and public transit agencies.” The Senate should duplicate the House’s action.