Buckeye Experts Weigh-In on House Veto Overrides

Jul 06, 2017

Columbus, OH – Today, the Ohio House overrode several of Governor John Kasich’s vetoes and The Buckeye Institute’s experts weighed-in.

The House 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. This is a critical measure to ensure that the will of the people, as expressed through their elected representatives, is honored.

“The Administration tried to restrict the legislature’s role in overseeing Ohio’s budget by limiting its ability to approve spending increases to Medicaid, which currently accounts for 37 percent of the state’s budget,” said Greg R. Lawson, research fellow at The Buckeye Institute. “By reasserting its proper oversight role, the Ohio House has sent a clear signal that it, as the elected representatives of the people, is the proper body to approve spending increases.”  

Lawson continued, “Unfortunately, the House failed to bring up an override of the misguided veto of the Medicaid expansion freeze, which would have further ensured that the program is made sustainable and is focused on the truly needy. Under the Medicaid expansion, the program was originally projected to grow to 440,000 by 2020, but has well exceeded that estimate and currently stands at more than 700,00. If the program isn’t reformed, it will crowd out all other important spending priorities and we will saddle our children and grandchildren with unsustainable levels of government spending for generations.”

The Ohio House also 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.

“Healthy Ohio is just one part of improving Ohio’s Medicaid system and ensuring it is sustainable for the neediest Ohioans,” said Rea S. Hederman Jr., executive vice president at The Buckeye Institute and a nationally recognized expert in health care policy. “The program will enable non-disabled Medicaid recipients to contribute to a health savings account and allow them to use that money to purchase private health insurance, giving them access to better quality health care and rewarding them for embracing healthier lifestyle choices.”

Unfortunately, the House overrode the Governor’s veto of the Medicaid managed care sales tax replacement plan.

“Despite our disagreement with Governor Kasich on vetoing the Medicaid freeze, we were glad he vetoed the proposed replacement for local Medicaid sales tax revenues. It is disappointing the Ohio House has again re-instituted this bad policy,” Lawson. “It was obvious that the federal government was going to disallow this tax on Medicaid managed care organizations, and local governments and transit authorities should have known not to rely on this money to fund local services. By overriding the governor’s veto, the House has enabled ​local governments to blame Columbus for ‘cutting’ funding whenever they want to avoid making tough spending decisions at home rather than do the hard work of making the most efficient use of every local dollar spent.”