Ohio Medicaid Funding Shortfall Causes Budget Planning Issues
A $647 million Medicaid shortfall has caused Ohio officials to sound a "cautionary note" as they prepare next year's budget, the AP/Akron Beacon Journal reports. Legislators have put forth bills to "plug this hole," calling for $249 million in state budget cuts and general fund money to match the remaining $400 million coming from the federal government, the AP/Beacon Journal reports. But the shortfall -- which resulted from a "higher-than-expected Medicaid caseload" along with lower-than-expected revenue from the state's sales tax -- could "be a constraint on [the state's] ability to address all of [its] budget challenges," Gov. Bob Taft (R) said. The state had expected to bring in about $438.3 million in sales tax revenue this year, but collected only $423.8 million. Still, Thomas Johnson, Taft's budget director, said that the state "should still end the 2001 fiscal year with $105 million in surplus revenue and will maintain its $1 billion rainy day fund" (Welsh-Huggins, AP/Akron Beacon Journal, 11/20).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.