Gov. John Kasich signed his broad policy overhaul bill today and, as expected, denied nursing homes an extra $30 million that Republican lawmakers tried to send their way.
The $30 million payment, which would have gone to nursing homes that met more than five new quality standards, was one of a dozen line-item vetoes Kasich made before signing the 2,700-page, mid-biennium review that passed the legislature late last month.
Since coming into office, Kasich has targeted the nursing home industry for changes. Last week, in a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Chicago, he boasted: “We broke the nursing home lobby that had ruled the legislature for 25 years.”
Overall cuts to nursing home reimbursements will total more than $850 million in this two-year budget, when Medicare cuts are included. The industry has argued that, with under-spending through the first 11 months, the additional $30 million would still leave the state spending less than it initially anticipated.
But in his veto message, Kasich said: “No new data has been presented to justify those changes, demonstrate a need or explain the rationale for this specific amount.”
The Ohio Health Care Association, which represents a number of nursing homes, has said there could be 7,000 jobs cut because of the reimbursement cuts.