As Senate Prepares to Take-Up Veto Overrides, Buckeye Experts Weigh-In

Aug 17, 2017

Columbus, OH – As the Ohio Senate prepares to return to Columbus to vote on overriding some of Governor John Kasich’s vetoes in the state’s biennial budget, The Buckeye Institute’s experts weighed-in on three critical areas.

In July, the Ohio House overrode the governor’s veto of the Healthy Ohio waiver. This override puts back into place the requirement that the Administration submit the waiver request to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“With the federal government expressing a desire to partner with states on Medicaid reform, Ohio should seek a bold waiver to improve the Medicaid program,” said Rea S. Hederman Jr., executive vice president at The Buckeye Institute and a nationally recognized expert in health care policy. “The Healthy Ohio waiver can empower Medicaid recipients to obtain better care, return to work, and ensure that needy Medicaid enrollees have to access to good medical services.”

Hederman continued, “Medicaid continues to grow rapidly and is, by far, the largest budget item when looking at total dollars spent. By overriding the veto and submitting a Medicaid waiver to DC, the General Assembly is taking a prudent step to protect taxpayers and ensure that Medicaid benefits will be available to those who need them.”

The Ohio House also overrode the governor’s veto of a measure which restored legislative oversight to approving Medicaid spending increases rather than limiting approval to the Controlling Board.

“By overriding the veto, the General Assembly will restore balance to the relationship between the legislative and executive branch,” said Hederman. “With this action, the General Assembly limits the ability of the executive branch to appropriate huge sums of money with limited legislative oversight. Further, it makes sure the full General Assembly, not six legislators and a gubernatorial appointee, are responsible for approving big new federal programs and all the strings that are inevitably attached.”

Unfortunately, the House overrode the governor’s veto of the Medicaid managed care sales tax replacement plan and Buckeye hopes that the Senate will let Governor Kasich’s veto stand.

“We agree with Governor Kasich’s veto of the proposed replacement for local Medicaid sales tax revenues and we were disappointed that the Ohio House overrode the governor’s veto,” said Greg R. Lawson, research fellow at The Buckeye Institute. “This proposal is a tax on insurance plans and as with most government taxes, it is highly unlikely that this new tax will be ‘temporary.’ It is time for local governments to go to their voters and convince them of the need to raise local taxes for local services rather than blaming Columbus for their inability to spend wisely.”