Laura Bischoff has the great idea to ask experts about what they think about Ohio’s fiscal problems, and she hardly just limited herself to the typical spokesmen from the Ohio Takings Coalition. Check it out here.
Here are my two favorite:
Marc Kilmer, policy analyst, Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions
The budget gap is not an insurmountable problem if the governor and legislators look at a broad range of cuts and eliminate all increases from fiscal year 2009 levels, Kilmer said.
“The top need is Medicaid reform,” he said. Medicaid spending accounts for a quarter of the state’s budget.
Kilmer would move away from nursing home care for Medicaid recipients to cheaper alternatives like in-home care and stop paying for chiropractic and hospice services; eliminate what he called non-vital agencies like the Department of Development, the Ohio Arts Council, e-Tech Ohio and the Commission on Minority Health; increase the share of health insurance premiums paid by state employees from 15 percent to 20 percent as well as fees paid by visitors to state parks; allow education funding to follow the student to whatever school they choose, and eliminate the recent expansion of government health insurance to middle class children.
Evan Osborne, professor of economics, Wright State University
Government should get out of the economic development and health care business, Osborne said.
“The long-term future of this state is not going to be decided by whether we give tax breaks or investment incentives to businesses or try to promote green jobs or any other kind of jobs,” he said. “All that should go.”
Osborne also would end Medicaid as a fee-for-service system that pays health care providers directly and instead give the poor cash assistance toward the purchase of their own health insurance policies.
Permitting video gambling machines at race tracks to increase state revenue amounts to “shaking the state couch to see what comes out, no matter what the cost is in public policy,” he said. “We’re going to see more of that in coming years if we don’t get government spending under control.”