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GOP Lawmaker Who Backed Medicaid Expansion Hopes to Return Savings as a Tax Cut

Tuesday, October 22, 2013 at 5:18 PM

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State Sen. Chris Widener speaks on The Ohio Channel on an unrelated subject.

One of the Republican senators who voted to allow the state to accept $2.5 billion in federal money for the Medicaid expansion has introduced a bill to give Ohioans a tax break. Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports the legislation is designed to capture savings in state government and give that money back to Ohio taxpayers.

Republican State Sen. Chris Widener sits on the Ohio Controlling Board, the legislative panel that approved accepting federal money to expand Medicaid.

He says the state will save $400 million now because the federal government will pay for services for hospitals and prisons that were allowed for in the recently passed state budget. So Widener says that money should be used for a tax cut.

“Let’s give that back to the taxpayers, the working families of Ohio, and add on to the income tax cut that we already have in this current state budget,” Widener said. “So in other words, instead of a nine percent cut, we add four percent to that so it would be a 13 percent cut next year. And the year after that, instead of a 10 percent cut, we’d add four percent to that and make it a 14 percent cut.”

Widener says he expects his Republican colleagues will embrace the bill since they wanted to provide a tax break of more than ten percent in the first place.

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Government/Politics, Health

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