News

Medicaid expansion out of budget

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio House will begin debate today on their version of Governor John Kasich’s budget, with majority Republican poised to make changes to some of its major provisions.

With Tea Party organizations threatening primary challenges to GOP lawmakers who vote for a proposed $13 billion Medicaid expansion because it is part of President Barack Obama’s health care reform law, representatives are expected to overhaul that part of the $63 million spending plan, as well Kasich’s proposed tax law update and new school-funding formula.

“Some things are not negotiable. We will neither forget nor forgive a single vote on this issue,” Ted Stevenot, president of the Clermont County Tea Party, wrote in an e-mail from the Ohio Liberty Coalition.

Stevenot also warned that the expansion would create a large voting bloc likely to cast ballots for Democratic candidates, making Ohio a “solidly ‘blue’” state.

The GOP leadership appeared to lack the votes necessary to pass the budget because of the plan to expand Medicaid to an additional 275,000 Ohioans because it is part of federal health-care reform, which Republicans are hoping to defund and repeal. If they succeeded, Ohio would be left holding the bag on the expansion, which is supposed to be covered 100 percent by federal funds through 2016 and 90 percent for another six years after that.

“It is my belief that passing Medicaid Expansion, or anything like it, will drive the entire grass roots movement out of our party and lead to a creation of a new third party” wrote Tom Zawistowski, a candidate for chairman of the state Republican Party.

The paring of the Madicaid expansion may be accompanied by a proposal to use $100 million for mental health and drug addiction services.

Changes may also be made to a proposed expansion of the sales tax to compensate for an income tax reduction and increases to the tax on oil and gas extraction.

Groups like Stevenot’s and the conservative PAC Ohio Rising say voters statewide voiced their opposition to the expansion when they approved the Healthcare Freedom Amendment in 2011, which would prohibit Ohio from mandating health care coverage.

Featured Events

new cher

Cher: Dressed to Kill Tour

Cher’s “Dressed To Kill” tour comes to town on April 30th at Nationwide Arena.

wwe sd

WWE Smackdown

See all of your favorite Superstars in action including: John Cena, Randy Orton, The Shield and Bray Wyatt & The Wyatt Family.

KatyPerry 2014 tour PR photo

Katy Perry: The Prismatic World Tour

Katy Perry’s “Prismatic World Tour” comes to Nationwide Arena on August 13th.

News

today in Entertainment

Could we soon see ‘Mrs. Doubtfire 2?’

robinwilliams

This could be the sequel we've been waiting for.

today in Entertainment

Amy Poehler and Will Arnett officially file for divorce

poehler

Though they've been separated since 2012, we're sad to see one of Hollywood's funniest couples split.

today in Entertainment

‘Hobbit’ star found guilty in drug case

mikaelbran

Actor Mikael Persbrandt has been sentenced to five months in jail for buying cocaine.