From Ted Stevenot, President Ohio Liberty Coalition
Late Monday afternoon news services in Ohio began reporting that statehouse leadership was planning to remove the $13 billion Medicaid expansion from the governor's proposed biennial budget. Further indicated were the removals of sweeping professional service taxes and the severance tax increases on oil and gas extraction.
While it appears we may have gained some momentum, we are waiting to see the actual proposals. Technically, this fight does not end until the final budget is passed in June. Consider as evidence for caution these remarks from Governor Kasich in the Cleveland Plain Dealer this past Sunday, read here.
"C'mon, there's all kinds of legislative maneuvers that go on," he said. "You get something out. You get a piece of what you want. You keep it alive. You move it in the other body. You expand it out. You get it into conference committee. It's just a long process."
"I don't think we're anywhere close to the home stretch. I think we're just basically getting out of the gate," he said. "You know when the home stretch will be? Probably when we enter conference committee."
Notable in these circumstances also is the press frenzy to shred anyone who would dare choose fiscal responsibility over greater debt, or who would seek expanded opportunity in our state versus greater dependence on government. If they act this unhinged over losing the possibility of these federal dollars, just imagine how they would act in the future if Ohio ever had to initiate Kasich's so called "rollback" mechanism.
Let us remember that by 66% of the vote and passing in all of Ohio's 88 counties, a bipartisan majority of voters said "NO" to Obamacare by saying "YES" to the Healthcare Freedom Amendment. Though the media and John Kasich may try to ignore this fact, the reality of this victory will continue to motivate us in our battle against Obamacare in Ohio.
For the moment, we remain cautiously optimistic. As the governor says, we are "just basically getting out of the gate." As such, we will stay vigilant and ready for the coming rounds in this fight.
Please stay tuned for further updates should we need your support in contacting your State Reps. Your efforts have brought us to this important turning point and we will need your continued resolve to put us over the finish line.