Statehouse Update: Executive Budget and HB 103

The Ohio Legislature recessed this week and will not fully reconvene until the week of April 8. During the two-week layoff, leaders in the House of Representatives will continue to debate and analyze alternatives to many of the policies proposed within Governor Kasich’s Executive Budget for fiscal years 2014-15. While the budget is clearly a fluid document, one certainty is that some of the Governor’s signature components – Medicaid expansion, broadening of the sales tax base and personal income tax reductions – will look quite different after the House finishes its work. A glimpse of what to expect follows:
  • Medicaid Expansion
    It is a virtual certainty that the House will pass a version of the budget bill that will not expand Medicaid as proposed by the Governor. Instead, a few alternatives have emerged including (1) removal of the Medicaid component entirely and working through the issue as a stand-alone bill after the budget bill is passed in late June, or (2) requesting a waiver from the federal government that allows a certain percentage of new enrollees to purchase health insurance on the exchange.
  • Sales Tax
    The governor proposed broadening the sales tax base to a number of services including, among many others, legal, accounting and advertising. This proposal has been met with significant public opposition by a wide-ranging coalition of service-based industries. The House will likely reshape this proposal, perhaps by reducing the number of new services subject to the sales tax.
  • Income Tax Reduction
    The House appears committed to implementing an income tax reduction for Ohioans, though it may not be the 20 percent cut proposed by the Governor. The issue facing the understandably politically-mindful House is this: how to implement a meaningful income tax cut without significantly raising revenues and still balance the budget, as is statutorily required.

House Bill 103 is introduced to minimize “shot gun” claims
Representative Matt Huffman (R-Lima) introduced HB 103: legislation that would minimize the undesirable practice of "shot gunning" defendants in medical claims. “Shot gunning” is a legal practice by which numerous defendants are initially named in a lawsuit, but subsequently dismissed from the case. It often results in needless significant costs to physicians and their insurers, as well as other adverse consequences to physicians due to the reporting of lawsuits filed against them.

The proposed modifications seek to minimize the necessity for this practice by allowing plaintiffs a finite period of time to name additional defendants after the initial filing of a medical claim and imposes upon plaintiffs the obligation to exercise due diligence to discover the basis for asserting claims against any such additional defendants within that period of time.

Want to continue the discussion on the OSMA Community? Click here to post your thoughts and connect with your peers on the OSMA’s member-only forum.

Bookmark and Share