Republican Ohio state senators have introduced a bill that would take over $400 million in Medicaid savings stemming from the state’s recent decision to participate in Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion and funnel it into an across-the-board four percent income tax cut. That amounts to using savings from a program that provides basic health benefits to the state’s poorest to fund a tax break that would almost exclusively benefit its most affluent.
The progressive policy group Policy Matters Ohio points out the proposed cut amounts to an average $1 tax cut for the poorest 20 percent of Ohio residents, but a $1,437 cut for the top one percent:
CREDIT: Policy Matters Ohio
According to the local Youngstown Vindicator, some state senate Democrats are uneasy with the proposal. “If you’re going to invest $404 million somewhere, shouldn’t it be invested in something that you can see results with — early childhood education or back into the public schools so that we can give every student the opportunity to grow rather than just to give a little bit to everybody?” asked Sen. Joe Schiavoni (D) during testimony on the proposal.
Policy Matters Ohio ran the numbers on what some of those alternative investments might look like. For about the same amount of money, the state could hire 1,000 new police officers, 675 firefighters, and 1,570 teachers, add 14,000 seats to preschool programs, and expand the Earned Income Tax Credit for 855,000 working Ohio families.