COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio House will not attempt to override an 18-month-old veto by Gov. John Kasich that cut short an attempt to freeze enrollment in the Ohio Medicaid expansion, a GOP spokesman said.
Brad Miller, a spokesman for House Speaker Ryan Smith — who controls the measures that come up for a vote — said Thursday morning the chamber will not vote to override Kasich’s June 29, 2017 line-item veto of the provision in the two-year budget freezing enrollment. The chamber meets Thursday and possibly Friday. Miller said no veto override vote of that measure will happen either day.
For a veto override to be successful, three-fifths of the members in the House and Senate must vote to override a provision.
“I don’t think there is widespread support in the caucus to get a three-fifths vote,” Miller said. “But also we are primarily focused on legislation vetoed during the lame duck session.”
Procedurally, the expansion freeze veto override would have to start in the Ohio House before progressing to the Senate. So if the House doesn’t have the vote, the Senate will never take the matter up.
Although Republicans have spent years decrying the Affordable Care Act — of which Medicaid expansion is a key part — polls have shown the public supports the low-income health care program.
For instance, an Enquirer/Suffolk University poll in June found that 77 percent of Ohioans want the next governor to preserve Medicaid expansion. And protecting Medicaid expansion became a main issue in the governor’s race.
The two-year, 132nd General Assembly adjourns Monday. In its final weeks, known as lame-duck, lawmakers passed a flurry of bills — some of which Kasich vetoed.
Those vetoes, which the legislature could override, include a ban on abortions as soon as a heartbeat is detected, a use of force provision and a pay raise for lawmakers.