Ohio’s Operating Budget Update

Ohio’s Operating Budget has been taken up by the Ohio Senate for review. This page focuses on key issues relating to changes in the Medicaid budget.

The Ohio General Assembly passed its final two-year budget last week. At the end of last week, Governor Kasich used his veto to eliminate three budget provisions that would harm Medicaid in Ohio. The Ohio House has now scheduled a session for Thursday, July 6, at 9:00 AM to vote to override those three vetoes. We need to let them know that the vetoes should be upheld. The vetoes include:

#1 VETO: Governor Kasich vetoed a budget provision that would freezing Medicaid expansion enrollment as of July 1, 2018. Such a freeze would cause a significant majority of those currently enrolled to lose their coverage.

#3 VETO: Governor Kasich vetoed a budget provision requiring the Controlling Board to authorization spending of Medicaid expansion dollars. This provision would limit the ability of the Medicaid director to effectively and efficiently manage the Medicaid program.

#4 VETO: Governor Kasich vetoed a budget provision requiring The Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) to re-apply for the Healthy Ohio waiver, which would require premiums for Medicaid coverage.

Over 500 people are meeting in the capital today to protest the potential override of Governor Kasich’s vetoes, but even if you couldn’t make it to Columbus, you can let your legislators know that freezing Medicaid enrollment, charging Medicaid premiums, and leaving the decision making on spending to the controlling board rather than ODM would hurt people with disabilities.

Significant Proposed Changes to Ohio Medicaid Budget:

Change: Bill places a freeze on new Medicaid expansion enrollees beginning on July 1, 2018.

Change: Bill limits Medicaid spending by requiring the Ohio Department of Medicaid to get approval from the Ohio Controlling Board, a legislative panel that oversees state spending, to spend the state’s share of expansion dollars.

Change: Bill requires state Medicaid officials to seek a waivers from the federal government to charge premiums and other fees to Medicaid participants as part of the proposed Healthy Ohio Program.

Change: Bill eliminates funding for Money Follows the Person, a state program that helps people with disabilities transition out of nursing homes into the community.

Ohio Senate Timeline

July 6 – Ohio House meets to override Kasich’s vetoes

What You Can Do:

Contact your Ohio Senator, and Representatives who oversee the budget process. Legislators must be made aware of the benefits of Medicaid to all Ohioans.