Ohio Senate



Senate Veto Overrides:
Implications for Ohio’s Medicaid Program 

Loren Anthes 
Fellow, Center for Medicaid Policy
August 23, 2017 

CONTEXT
On Tuesday, August 22, the Senate voted to override six of Governor Kasich’s Medicaid-related vetoes. In July, the House had overridden 11 of the governor’s vetoes, 10 of which dealt with Medicaid, meaning that the Senate can still act on four of those Medicaid-related provisions pushed forward by the House. Several of the veto overrides included provisions that would affect eligibility, rates, and the carve-in of certain Medicaid populations into managed care.






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Ohio Senate Medicaid Provisions Could Jeopardize Self-Reliance
By Emily Campbell
Associate Director, Williamson Family Fellow for Applied Research
June 23, 2017

Changes to the Medicaid program included in the Senate version of Ohio’s biennial budget would make it more difficult for some Ohio families to move toward self-sufficiency. By grandfathering individuals who are enrolled in Medicaid expansion at the end of the next fiscal year and closing all future enrollment in Group VIII (expansion), the Senate bill deepens the benefit cliff. This creates a disincentive for some workers to accept a raise or increased hours because even a small increase in pay would mean they could never qualify for Medicaid health coverage again, even if their financial circumstances change. This impact is especially great for low-income working adults without children.

Most harmful is the provision that essentially rolls back Medicaid expansion by closing Group VIII to new enrollees. The Senate version ends new enrollment in Group VIII after July 1, 2018, but allows Ohioans who are enrolled in Group VIII coverage on June 30, 2018 to maintain eligibility until they cease to meet eligibility requirements or federal reimbursement is reduced. When Medicaid reverts to pre-expansion income limits, parents would qualify only if they made less than 90 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), or $18,378 per year for a family of three. Non-disabled single adults would never again qualify, even if they had no income at all.



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Budget Update: Senate Finance Committee 
Hears Testimony on Tax Proposals
By Adam White
Graduate Assistant
April 26, 2017

On Tuesday, April 25, 2017, hours after members of the House Finance Committee accepted a substitute version of the budget bill (HB 49), their colleagues on the Senate Finance Committee began hearing the tax reforms put forth in Governor Kasich’s original budget proposal. Ohio Tax Commissioner Joe Testa testified in support of the administration’s tax proposals, many of which have now been eliminated or diminished in the House version of the budget.

Headlining the governor’s tax proposals is the reduction of personal income tax rates and consolidation in the number of income tax brackets from nine to five. Together these proposals result in an estimated 17 percent reduction of personal income tax liability, phased in over two years. Additionally, the governor’s budget would increase the personal exemption for those earning less than $80,000 per year and raise the income threshold for the low-income tax credit from $10,000 to $15,000, effectively eliminating state income taxes for more than 350,000 low- and middle-income Ohioans.




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Commission on Infant Mortality has its first meeting
By Jon Honeck
Edward D. and Dorothy E. Lynde Fellow

August 31, 2015

I attended the first meeting of the Commission on Infant Mortality last Wednesday in the Ohio Senate Finance Hearing Room. The meeting lasted for nearly 3 hours. Medicaid Director John McCarthy made the initial presentation, focusing on the new $13.4 million in the state budget for infant mortality work. He pointed out that Ohio's high infant mortality rate has a number of causes, including premature births, smoking, and sleep practices. Medicaid is focusing on certain ZIP codes in predominantly African-American communities that are known to have extremely high infant mortality rates. Over the four months Medicaid will hold meetings in nine communities to get their feedback about approaches that are currently being used and to raise awareness of the issue. The funding in the state budget does not have a separate line item. Instead, it is rolled into the managed care plans’ capitated rate. The expectation is that they will use it for education and prevention that will benefit the entire community, not just people enrolled in their plan. An underlying issue, however, is that there are still a large number of births in fee-for-service which means that many pregnant women are not being enrolled in a managed care plan in a timely fashion, and are probably not getting care in the early stages of pregnancy.



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