There were a lot of cuts in this new state budget, largely because tax revenues were off nearly $850 million dollars for the last fiscal year. There’s one budget cut that’s small, but some worry it could have a huge impact on people who really need that money.
Nine of the 11 vetoes that state representatives voted to override in the state budget this week are related to Medicaid, though not the big veto on the plan to freeze Medicaid expansion enrollment next year. That was likely no accident, because Medicaid was in the spotlight and under the microscope this time.
The state budget director was off by almost a billion dollars in its projections on tax collections for the fiscal year. But his prediction that the year that ended last week would close in the black was right.
There may have been occasional disagreements between Ohio’s Republican-dominated House and Senate and Republican Gov. John Kasich, but he’d issued more than a hundred vetoes in his seven years in office without one being overturned. Today, that changed dramatically.
State lawmakers are trying to hash out a final budget deal that they can send to the governor’s desk. This includes how they’ll spend money to fight the opioid epidemic while closing a more than $1 billion budget hole. But there’s a big issue that looms over the discussion.
Lawmakers and the Kasich administration have gone back and forth on a budget issue that would change the way people with long term health problems would receive medical care. That provision is still on the table as the Senate works to craft their final draft of the budget bill.
The state wants to change to the way mental health and addiction services are billed and coded, to align with national standards. But providers of those services, which are already stressed because of the opioid crisis, are very concerned.
Gov. John Kasich has been gaining national attention for criticizing the health care proposal coming from Congressional Republicans, especially when it comes to cutting Medicaid coverage. Kasich says there’s not much he and other state leaders could do if those cuts happen.