Kasich’s Veto of Medicaid Reform Signals His True Intentions

As Ohio Republicans witness the behavior of their governor, they have become increasingly disillusioned with him and with politics in general, for Governor Kasich’s actions with respect to Medicaid expansion are symptoms of the malaise inherent in government today.  A sickness precipitated by lack of principle and honor and inflamed by political expediency and self promotion. It is with this in mind that the OLC must report on Governor Kasich’s latest maneuver in his Captain Ahab like quest for Medicaid expansion in Ohio.  Prior to signing the biennial budget into law, Kasich took his veto pen to the bill most notably to the House amendment inserted to provide reform to a Medicaid program much heralded for its fraud, abuse and poor quality health care.  The importance of the amendment was that for expansion to proceed, reform had to take place first. The Ohio House should be commended for inserting the Medicaid reform language into the budget. If the true spirit and letter of the amendment were followed, Ohio would be poised to address a broken entitlement and have the opportunity to turn a failed health care program into one that offered better care for Ohio’s poor.  Reforming Medicaid would not only protect millions of Ohioans from languishing in a government entitlement, but would also save future generations from the heavy burden of taxation and the anemic economic growth which always follows. Unfortunately, not all House and Senate members are on board with Medicaid reform in its purest sense, and since the amendment’s inclusion, reform efforts in the state assembly have disintegrated into a clever means of achieving expansion.  But, this article is about the politician who instigated this mess, the prime antagonist, Governor Kasich, not the […]

State Budget Analysis: Deficits on the Horizon

Yesterday, Opportunity Ohio released an important analysis by Matt Mayer on the Governor and General Assembly’s new state budget.  Here are the key findings: From Governor Kasich’s first year to his fourth year, Ohio’s budget has grown by 20.1% or 6.7% each year; The budgetary growth under Governor Kasich is the largest increase during a gubernatorial term since 1991; Unless spending slows and/or revenues exceed the average growth since 2001, Ohio will begin running deficits in 2015; If the next two budgets grow at the same rate as the last two budgets, Ohio’s budget will surpass $41 billion in FY2019; and If revenues grow at the same rate (excluding the high and low years), Ohio’s revenues will hit $34.5 billion in FY2019, resulting in a $6.6 billion one year deficit and $11.4 billion two year deficit. To read the short report and view the accompanying table, click here.