Gov. Kaisch’s Unconstitutional Efforts to Expand Medicaid Through the Controlling Board [Corrected]

The battle for Medicaid expansion in Ohio is starting to look a lot like the battle for its sire, Obamacare, with Kasich playing the part of the bull-headed ideologue willing to push through a destructive piece of legislation despite the cries for reason and restraint from the other side. In 2010, after solidifying Republican legislators to hold firm against passage of the reckless bill, the grassroots watched as Obama looked to manipulate and deal to get the extra votes he needed to pass Obamacare.

And now we read in the Columbus Dispatch, Kasich faces a similar quandary. Tea party activists, having kept the Ohio Assembly honest, watch as Kasich looks to the Controlling Board to ram through expansion.

The Controlling Board is an end-run to get by the state legislature and Kasich will have to work to find the votes on the Board to get expansion passed. Currently he is one vote short. He has the vote of his hand-picked bureaucrat Randy Cole the Controlling Board’s President and the votes of the two Democrats from the House and Senate. But he needs one of the four Republicans, Senators Coley and Widener and Representatives Amstutz and Rosenberger.

Reps. Amstutz and Rosenberger are vying for the House Speaker position and out of respect for the house’s rejection of expansion appear unwilling to pass it in this most questionable way.

Senator Coley, from the largely conservative Butler County, is sticking with the people on this one and the OLC salutes him for his leadership.

So that leaves Senator Widener from Springfield who comes from what the Dispatch describes as a “politically centrist” district and has the added benefit of being term-limited. By typing these characteristics into the RINO-decoder, we find Widener is the most likely candidate to vote with Kasich, Obama, Democrats, socialized medicine proponents, and their left-leaning constituency.

Keep in mind expanding Medicaid through the Controlling Board means circumventing all constitutional means of doing so and using a body which the Office of Management and Budget describes as “..a mechanism for handling certain limited day-to-day adjustments needed in the state budget.”

To top it off, Media Trackers reports what the Columbus Dispatch fails to: Ohio revised code states the Controlling Board “shall take no action which does not carry out the legislative intent of the general assembly.”

It is fair to say expanding Medicaid through the Controlling Board is a questionable maneuver on the part of our increasingly obstinate governor. Ohioans have a right to be concerned that fundamental checks & balances are being overlooked in favor of a scheme to pass what could not be passed under the normal course of constitutional governance.

If push comes to shove, Senate President Keith Faber and House Speaker Bill Batchelder determine who serves on the Controlling Board. They have the ultimate say if Medicaid expansion comes to Ohio. That is why some fear they may change committee members to ensure Kaisch wins.

Source: Ohio Liberty Council October 18, 2013.

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