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Kasich delivers good and bad news

Published: Wed, July 4, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

By Marc Kovac



Gov. John Kasich and his budget director had good news and bad news Tuesday, the day after the start of the state’s new fiscal year.

The good: The administration added another $235 million to the state’s rainy-day fund, bringing the balance to about $482 million. That compares to less than a dollar when Kasich took office last year.

And the bad: Administration officials are estimating $1 billion in new costs, anticipated as a result of last week’s U.S. Supreme Court validation of the federal Affordable Care Act, as Ohioans currently eligible for subsidized health care are added to the Medicaid roles.

But Kasich told reporters in a conference call he has no intention of dipping into the budget stabilization funds, or rainy-day fund, to pay for increase Medicaid or other costs.

Instead, he indicated there could be additional cuts to Medicaid and other programs to better control costs and additional tax reform to make the state more attractive for business growth.

“We’re going to do what every family does, trying ... to get more bang for the buck,” he said, adding, “We want to manage this state like a family manages its budget.”

The total surplus was affected by higher-than-expected collections of sales, personal income and other taxes and lower-than-expected general spending, said Tim Keen, Kasich’s budget director.

But federal health care reform is expected to add about $950 million in Medicaid costs over the next two years, Kasich said, painting a grim picture for the next biennial budget.

“They’re setting priorities for us in Washington, and it challenges us as we put this next budget together,” Keen said.

Kasich added, “It is going to force us to go back and look inside the Medicaid program at the kind of benefits we provide. ... Everything will be on the table.”


1palbubba(811 comments)posted 4 years ago

Where is all the Kasich bashing? With this wonderful achievement I am willing to bet that the Mahoning Valley would support Strickland if he runs. Do you really wonder why the Valley sinks deeper?

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2redeye1(5678 comments)posted 4 years ago

Kasich went from a dollar to 482 million in the rainy day fund. That's great. As far as the medicad expenses blame the fool in the WH . With his OBAMACARE he lays the blame and the cost at the state's feet and he seems to be the good guy. I believe this is only the beginning for this fool to screw up more things. He's trying to take this country down the drain and he is succeeding.

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3Boardman120(82 comments)posted 4 years ago

Obamacare will shift $950 million from Medicare to Medicaid.

In other words, the money that working taxpayers have paid all their adult lives is once again being siphoned off to fund the idle and lazy. Who overwhelmingly vote Democrat when bothered to actually vote.

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4peacelover(839 comments)posted 4 years ago

This article is extremely misleading, since the federal govt. provides the states with most of their Medicaid funding, although it varies from state to state.

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5AnotherAverageCitizen(1194 comments)posted 4 years ago

Redeye says,
""With his OBAMACARE he lays the blame and the cost at the state's feet and he seems to be the good guy""

With kasich he lays the blame and cost on local school systems and he tries to seem as the good guy.

Just remember it is Willard that started Obamacare. Just be careful what you ask for Replubs.

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6AnotherAverageCitizen(1194 comments)posted 4 years ago

For the past week the Kasich Adminsitration has been in overdrive, spinning stories about the State budget to supporters on Facebook and Fox News about “his” budget surplus being used to refill Ohio’s rainy day fund. But Kasich, and the papers, seemed to have overlooked one major fact: the bulk of the rainy day fund deposits actually came from a surplus properly credited to Governor Strickland.
Source: PlunderBund (http://s.tt/1hiEA)

Kasich has been boasting all week that the rainy day fund contained only 89 cents when he came to office, and now it has $482 million, highlighting the fact that last week – the end of the first year of Kasich’s initial two-year budget – the Kasich Administration deposited $235 million into the State’s rainy day fund from the “surplus” left in Kasich’s budget.

To hear Kasich talk, and given the sloppiness of the media’s reporting on it, the causal observer would have thought that Kasich was soley responsible for replenishing the rainy day fund. But no one seems to be asking: where did that other $247 million come from?

Not a single media outlet has pointed out that this year’s surplus was smaller than the last surplus left under Strickland’s Fiscal Year 2011 Budget. In fact, Kasich’s first budget was funded, in part, by a carry over balance of the surplus from Strickland’s last budget. And most of the money in the rainy day fund is still from the Strickland surplus.

But we’re still being too kind to Kasich. You see, Kasich’s entire claim of a “budget surplus” only exists if you view it with the required Kasich budgetary equipment:

In other words, Kasich’s claim of running a surplus is based on a lower Medicaid case load, which is largely due to the fact that the Kasich Administration is covering even fewer eligible Ohioans. Medicaid is an entitlement program. Saying Kasich is running a budget surplus when he’s leaving an estimated half a million poor and elderly Ohioans from receiving the Medicaid they’re legally eligible and entitled to receive is nothing to celebrate. Kasich’s “surplus” is built on denying poor Ohioans health care that they could not otherwise get… leaving them to either not seek treatment at all or force them to accept ER care which creates an unfunded mandate on hospitals.

Yes, I imagine the federal government’s balance sheet would look much better, too, if it chose not to pay Social Security benefits to all that were eligible, but is that really the path we expect our government to take?

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