© 2021 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

GOP-Led House Drops Medicaid Plan From Ohio Budget

Republican House leaders are dropping Gov. John Kasich's plan to expand Medicaid under the federal health overhaul to cover thousands more low-income Ohioans. House lawmakers jettisoned the idea from their version of the two-year, state spending blueprint, which they released Tuesday. Kasich frames his support for expanding Medicaid a way to recapture Ohio taxpayers' federal money and help the state's most vulnerable get health care. Rejecting expansion means the state would forgo $13 billion from the federal government over the next seven years to cover those newly eligible for Medicaid. Many GOP lawmakers are averse to Democratic President Barack Obama's law and resistant to expanding government programs. House Speaker William Batchelder said there was a lack of clarity from Washington around the regulations under the law. In the meantime, the House preserved a portion of the statewide income-tax cut proposed by Gov.Kasich in its version of the state operating budget, marking a partial victory for the Republican governor. House budget changes released today included a 7-percent income tax reduction during two years. That compares to a 20-percent reduction during three years that had been proposed by Kasich. The governor accompanied his cut with a 50 percent tax cut for small businesses. Kasich wants to reduce Ohio's income tax, which he views as economically burdensome. The governor's $63.2 billion, two-year budget paid for the cut with a tax increase on oil and gas extraction. The House has pulled that proposal, along with Kasich's proposed expansion of the sales tax to professional services.