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Smith: Medicaid restrictions, taxes among eleven potential law changes from House GOP veto showdown with governor

July 6, 2017
Kent Smith News

Today, the Republican-controlled Ohio House of Representatives overrode eleven items Governor John Kasich vetoed in the recently passed state budget, House Bill (HB) 49. Under the House’s overrides, Medicaid expansion would have to be reauthorized through the state Controlling Board and new taxes on working people could be put in place as a condition of healthcare coverage.

“Stopping the GOP’s Medicaid freeze is a testament to the hard work of concerned citizens, Democratic lawmakers and medical professionals,” said Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid). “Just like in Washington D.C., protests, phone calls, office visits and emails are helping to save lives in Ohio. But other Medicaid freeze loopholes approved today by Republicans will lock people out of Medicaid coverage and threaten the economic stability of families and working people across our state. New restrictions will cost money, lives and good-paying healthcare jobs.”

The House also tried to find a way to keep almost $200 million per-year in local funding for communities intact by instructing the Kasich Administration to seek a federal waiver from the Trump Administration for a revised tax on Medicaid managed care services.

Republican lawmakers potentially added more restrictions to Medicaid healthcare services by trying to house authority for approval of optional services like dental, breast and cervical cancer screenings with the Republican-controlled legislature, a move the Kasich Administration contends is in violation of federal law.

House Republicans didn’t take the possibility of a Medicaid freeze off the table entirely, saying they will wait for Congress to act before making a final decision.

The House also overrode vetoes related to nursing home funding, Medicaid rates neonatal and newborn care, and a provision that has prevented oil and gas exploration in state parks and nature reserves.