Impeachment Trial Ends With Acquittal; Medicaid Plan Proposes Block Grants; Ohio Vouchers Fix

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President Trump, as expected, was aquitted yesterday in the Republican Senate after his impeachment in December in the Democratic Controlled House on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The vote came two weeks after the trial opened in the Senate.  No additional witnesses were called in the trial beyond those that testified in the House impeachment hearings. Only one Republican, Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, voted for impeachment in the abuse of power charge. No Republican voted in favor of the obstruction charge. All Democrats voted to convict on both counts.  How will this episode go down in history? How will it play out in the 2020 election?   
 The Trump administration unveiled a plan last month that would cap Medicaid spending by issuing money to states that opt in via fixed block grants. Proponents say it will rein in costs on an incredibly expensive federal program and it will give states more flexibility. It is something conservatives have been pushing to do for years. Critics say it will hurt poor patients because the caps will likely result in benefit cuts and higher out of pocket costs for patients.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, announced the new program, Healthy Adult Opportunity on Jan. 30. It  would apply to non-disabled adults 65 and younger.  The program is voluntary for states--who must apply for a waiver to participate in the Medicaid block grant program.   

Ohio lawmakers are still trying to fix the state's EdChoice voucher system.  They missed a Feburary 1 deadline--when applications were to begin for students who intend to use the tuition vouchers.  Instead of coming up with a fix, lawmakers have put the issue on hold for 60 days while they continue to consider options.

Without a fix, the system that allows students to use tax-funded vouchers for private schools was set to dramatically expand this year because the number of schools considered underperforming, and whose students would then be eligble to leave with a voucher, was set to explode. 

 

Guests: 

Jonathan Entin, Professor Emeritus of Law and Adjunct Professor of Political Science, Case Western Reserve University 
Robert Alexander, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science, Founding Director, Institute for Civics and Public Policy, Ohio Northern University  
Loren Anthes, Fellow, The Center for Community Solutions, Treuhaft Chair for Health Planning 
Marcia Egbert, Senior Program Officer, Human Services, The George Gund Foundation  
Rea Hederman Jr., Executive Director, Economic Research Center, VP of Policy, Buckeye Institute
Patrick O'Donnell, Education Reporter, The Plain Dealer 
 

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