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Great Mixed news from Republican controlled Ohio: they're not attempting to sabotage Obamacare by screwing its residents and rejecting federal funds to expand medicaid. But they are using the new federal funds guessed it: cut income taxes.

Ending months of debate, a legislative oversight panel approved spending $2.56 billion in federal money today to expand Medicaid coverage to about 275,000 low-income Ohioans.

Almost immediately after the bipartisan 5-2 vote, Senate Republicans said they planned to use the expansion to offer a $400 million income tax cut, about 4 percent, with money largely coming from Ohio hospitals that would see additional federal funds from the expansion.

Starting Jan. 1, mostly childless adults earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, about $16,000 for a one-person household, can begin receiving health care coverage under the state-federal program.

The childless adults who would gain health coverage include many long-time unemployed, mentally ill, veterans and prison inmates.

Read the rest to learn the interesting legislative maneuvers Gov. John Kasich went through to make it happen.

3:35 PM PT: As usual, Republicans aren't doing anything for the right reasons here.

Originally posted to Watership Down on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 03:12 PM PDT.

Also republished by Central Ohio Kossacks.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It is about time, Facebook has been (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TXdem, cheerio2

    rocking this issue within the state.  I wonder if social media has been helping put the pressure on?

    •  It appears we actually LOST (5+ / 0-)

      if the legislature plans to use this money as nothing but a pass-through for tax cuts to the wealthy. If it was ADDED to the current amount hospitals were getting  that would be great. But they have been so cut by the state in the last two budgets. This is more Republican steal-from-the-poor, give-to-the-rich crap.

      Now let's see social media put pressure on the totally unpressurable legislature which does Kasich's bidding through the back door. They are unreachable because of gerrymandering. So they're doing Kasich's dirty work, helping him get re-elected.

      If they pass these tax cuts, we need to blow them all up.

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

      by anastasia p on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 03:37:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  is it a dollar per dollar tax cut? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I couldn't really find any details on the proposal. Would access to healthcare been expanded to these individuals anyways?

        •  Well, the lege hasn't done anything yet (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          a2nite, Ahianne

          so it's hard to know what they MIGHT do. Especially since, if they follow their typical practices, they will do anything controversial at the last minute with no hearings. (See: gerrymandered redistricting, stripping women of their rights).\

          I just don't like the sound of "YAY! Now we can afford more income tax cuts."

          Their current round of income tax cuts gives thousands to people who make $150,000 or more. But if you make $50,000 or less, the estimated average cut is $9. Enjoy that plain pizza you got with that cut because you can't afford extra topping s.

          Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

          by anastasia p on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:04:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Awesome news, what does Boehner think? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    •  GOOD news? Fuck that! (11+ / 0-)

      Did you not read this:

      Almost immediately after the bipartisan 5-2 vote, Senate Republicans said they planned to use the expansion to offer a $400 million income tax cut, about 4 percent, with money largely coming from Ohio hospitals that would see additional federal funds from the expansion.
      Kasich is going to try to parlay this into re-election by pretending  he actually CARES about giving people access to coverage but all he wanted was the free money.

      Our legislature is going to ROB state funds even MORE so that the state INCOME tax can be cut still more — a move that will only benefit the wealthiest Ohioans? Oh yeah, they'll boast about this but totally not mention that they increased the sales tax, and that they are spending like drunken sailor and sending the bills back to communities?

      Ohio hospitals are hurting because of state budget cuts to health and human services even while our legislature and governor have exploded state spending by about 23%. Because of this, we have a health and human services levy on our ballot this November which would increase my property taxes another $50 along with the additional money the port wants and the outrageous second levy in two years from my local schools which will cost me ANOTHER $200 a year.

      Those reminds me of the corrupt zero-sum game our legislators played when they started the lottery claiming it was for education. Then they cut a dollar from the general fund for every dollar the state lottery made for education.

      That is exactly what seems to be going on here. Take away a dollar for every dollar a hospital gets from new Medicaid money and stuff it back into the pockets of billionaire GOP donors.

      This is really, really rotten, but it's pretty much what I thought was at the bottom of Kasich's intentions.

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

      by anastasia p on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 03:32:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  an income tax will benefit far more than the top (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        1%, although they will benefit heavily.

        •  You're almost totally wrong (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          a2nite, Sandino

          The new state budget contains an income tax cut. If you male $150,000 or more, you get thousands. If you make $50,000 or less, you get about $9, it's been estimated. The benefits are entirely regressive. The top earners will get almost ALL the benefits, and the levies that will be necessitated by the dollar-for-dollar cuts in money to hospitals, which are already hurting from state cuts, will be piled onto the backs of working people.

          Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

          by anastasia p on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:06:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Uh, it goes like this (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RosyFinch, Sandino

          Top 1% ( gets a $6,083 cut
          The next 4% gets a $983 cut
          Next 15% gets a $176 cut
          Fourth 20% gets a $34 cut
          Middle 20% gets a $9 cut
          Second 20% get's a $5 cut
          The bottom 20% gets a $12 INCREASE

          So the only ones who get anything substantial are those who make between $143,000 and $335,000 and up.

          Meddle not in the affairs of dragons... for thou art crunchy and good with ketchup.

          by Pariah Dog on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 07:09:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Good thing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TXdem, cheerio2

    Now, how do you go from $2.56 expansion of Medicaid to a tax cut.  I don't have the ability to reason that thru my "factoid oriented head".  Are they just thinking since hospitals will be bringing in added revenues from increased Federal dollars, that they are going to reduce their state paid revenues to those same providers of care, and give that difference (4%) to their favorite citizens (corporate donors)?

    Republicans - they measure our national success by corporate profit margin, not the well being of the citizens.

    by egarratt on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 03:20:30 PM PDT

    •  How do you go to a tax cut? (6+ / 0-)

      You ignore the fact that this new Medicaid money won't even replace the cuts you've made to health and human services in the last two years and you take it as an opportunity to steal more money from the greatest human needs. Kasich is a true ghoul and his legislative stooges who do his bidding are even worse.

      Basically he took this money as a pass through to tax cuts for the very wealthiest people in the state. The rest of us will pay for them in levy increases.

      Fuck Kasich. He is no hero.

      I am in such a bad mood today reading about this crap.

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

      by anastasia p on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 03:34:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So the Republicans are going to cut taxes with (6+ / 0-)

    Medicaid money paying for that tax cut?  What about using the money to pay for health care for people?  Oh, right - the feds are going to take care of that.  The greed and tax cutting insistence of Republicans just continues to boggle my mind.  

    I sure as hell don't want my tax money going to pay for tax cuts for Ohio.  I want my tax money going to pay for health care.  The people who are getting Medicaid are people who likely aren't paying taxes (or much) in the first place, so of course the tax cuts are going to be disproportionately benefiting the wealthy.

    I had hoped there was some line in the law that said that the money would not be available to offset cuts in service and that therefore Ohio couldn't cut taxes when they receive federal money.  Apparently not.  Because money isn't free - someone pays.

    •  Is the lede being buried here? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tofumagoo, ColoTim

      I agree - sure as hell don't want Federal money going to replace state monies.

      It should be a partnership, right?  Oh, GOP only partners with crony businesses, not federal government or state constituency.

      Make sure everyone's vote counts: Verified Voting

      by sacrelicious on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 03:42:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The talk of more tax cuts goes to future intention (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        of the GOP majority in the State Legislature.

        It would be a very poor move, and it certainly is not aligned with the intent of the budgetary board stacked by Kasich to pass this vote.

        But, as anastasia p notes, that is one of the stated responses to this vote given by the demented teapuplicans in the Buckeye state. There is another though - to fight this in court. Their basis claim being that the board cannot override the stated intent of the entire legislature.

        They may have a point on that - one that would, at minimum clog up the courts and cast doubt.

        As bad as the proposed additional tax cut is, taking away Medicaid support from those who truly need it (filling that gap left when SCOTUS scuppered the automatic Medicaid rollout) that would be as bad or worse. It would truly hurt some very poor people.

        The teapublicans don't give one damn about that though.

  •  Good news (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Of course Republicans want tax cuts. What else is new?

    Taking the federal money adds flexibility to state budgets. Terry McAuliffe is running on a platform of higher education spending by expanding Medicaid.

    •  I'm no Terry McAuliffe fan but (0+ / 0-)

      I see value in more funding for higher education.

      I don't see value in more tax cuts for the wealthy.

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

      by anastasia p on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:07:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is good news. unadulterated. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TXdem, cheerio2

    I'd rather they take the savings and spend it on something else (Michigan is applying theirs to road repair), but if people get health care and the state saves money, that's a good thing.  The budget tax cutting fight is a separate issue. (One worthy of pounding on, but let's count our blessings here.

    •  I mostly see it that way too (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      No doubt, I think it absolutely SUCKS that they are using federal Medicaid money to basically give the 1% tax cuts.  But the federal money was always intended to give states a strong incentive to expand Medicaid.  AT LEAST these OH pols are rational enough to recognize and take free federal money when they see it, unlike the irrational, zealously ideological, insolent pols in red states who would rather throw free federal money down the drain than do anything that has the remote possibility of helping poor people.  

      •  well, the problem is (0+ / 0-)

        that the irrational, zealously ideological, insolent pols in the legislature in our not-red state are the ones pushing this idea that the highest use of free money is giving a tax cut to the wealthy. The controlling board only represents a handful of state pols, some of whom are Democrats. Hmmm .... a 5-2 vote? I'm going to have to go look that up.

        Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

        by anastasia p on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:13:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But my point is that AT LEAST (0+ / 0-)

          they want to use take free money and are willing to expand Medicaid in order to get that money, which is more than can be said for all the other red states.  Most deep red states are unwilling to accept the free money, thus cutting off their nose to spite their face, because they are just THAT repulsed by the idea of helping poor people.  

          The state could just as easily raise taxes on the poor, cut Medicaid reimbursement, and give tax cuts to the rich without the ACA Medicaid federal money.  There's nothing stopping from doing all that without the federal money.  

    •  No, it's not a separate fight (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      it is one big, long ongoing fight that we have been battling  with our governor and legislature about for three long years.

      Kasich has expanded state spending from the $50.5 billion budget he was left by Ted Strickland to $62 billion in the latest budget. So you'd think we'd be getting something for that. But no. He's brutally slashed public school and local government money — including the money to these very hospitals. Now he wants to take more away because they'll be getting Medicaid money.

      Maybe YOU should come here to Ohio and enjoy the potential $500 increase in my yearly property taxes (if all the levies pass in November), thanks to Kasich's cuts while spending like a drunken sailor on his rich friends.

      No, I will not count any blessings because this is ass backward. And we should do our best to stop it in the lege, or else make Kasich take a public position opposing it (hard to do because he's going into reelection mode which means he'll make the lege take the fall even though he's probably behind it).

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

      by anastasia p on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:11:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Also Tipped and rec'd (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TXdem, Assaf

    I posted a new post on this before I saw yours. So sorry for the inadvertent big-footing. That's why I usually try to do more analytical posts than breaking news, but I was really excited when I saw this had happened.

  •  Less corrupt than usual (0+ / 0-)

    If they're taking $2.56M in Medicare funding and wasting $400M of it on giving tax breaks to the rich, that still leaves $2.16M for paying for Medicare, so think of the it as a 15.6% "fee" extracted by the GOP for allowing the federal government to help keep poor people from dying due to easily preventable medical conditions.

    Yes, it's sadistic to the rich to be extracting money from a program helping the poor.

    But if it makes you feel better, wasting 16% is less bad than the 50% of the stimulus spending wasted on tax breaks for the rich.

  •  This is very good news for the 275,000 people (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    anastasia p

    who will have access to a government health insurance program.  Of course, no GOP plan could be complete without some gimmick or scheme. Kasich's income tax cut ploy essentially keeps the funding for doctors/hospitals at the same level by zeroing out the state contribution to pay for a tax cut and using federal dollars to fill the gap.  In essence, the tax payers of the other 49 states are subsidizing the tax cut for Ohio's wealthy.

    That's for Ohio voters to decide in the next election.  In terms of the larger battle for health care reform, getting a tipping point state like Ohio on board with the ACA is a very important development.

    Global Shakedown - Alternative rock with something to say. Check out their latest release, "A Time to Recognize": Available on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Spotify and other major online music sites. Visit

    by khyber900 on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 04:38:14 PM PDT

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