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Kasich Slams GOP Lawmakers As They Consider Medicaid Expansion Freeze

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State of Ohio
/
Governor's office

The Ohio House and Senate are rolling along with bills they want to pass before the Session ends. But they’re also considering overriding some of Gov. John Kasich’s vetoes, including his rejection of their proposed enrollment freeze for Medicaid expansion. 

This General Assembly, which is dominated by Republicans, has made it clear they want to freeze enrollment into Medicaid expansion. They passed the measure last year with the state budget, but it was one of several items Kasich vetoed.

While lawmakers have taken on Kasich to override several of his vetoes, they haven’t addressed this one yet. The veto could kick off 400,000 recipients from Medicaid and switch Ohio to a partial expansion.

Republican Senate President Larry Obhof is a supporter of that freeze but says an override vote needs to be taken up in the House first.

“So if the House sends us more overrides, we’ll take a look at them, but that’s not something I can initiate,” Obhof says.

Republican House Speaker Ryan Smith has suggested that an override of a veto is a possibility, saying that everything is on the table.

Kasich says he’s not negotiating with lawmakers on this.

“They all understand this issue,” Kasich says.

Kasich has also threatened to veto the “Stand Your Ground” self-defense bill and the “Heartbeat Bill” six-week abortion ban, which both passed the House recently. He doesn’t speculate why they would send the bills to him anyway, but he said Republicans ran for re-election this year on jobs and tax cuts.

“They didn’t run on abortion, guns, taking away people’s health care,” Kasich says. “I never heard that out of any of them. So I think it’s really important that they remember what their campaign promises were.”

State lawmakers have said they want more authority on spending and public policy. The Ohio General Assembly has overridden a quarter of Kasich’s 48 vetoes during his time in office.