State Budget Bill Update: House Approves HB 110, Sends to Senate
OSMA has been monitoring the budget process over the last several months, keeping a close eye on provisions related to healthcare. This week, members of the Ohio House Finance Committee approved substitute House Bill 110, the House version of the state operating budget, and the full chamber voted to pass the bill.
This week’s approval of HB 110 by the Finance Committee represents one of the swiftest omnibus hearings on the two-year spending bill in Ohio’s recent history. The 2022-2023 biennial budget legislation, totaling over $74 billion in General Revenue Fund appropriations, and over $168 billion in all funds appropriations, was reported out of the committee by a 24-9 vote after the committee members accepted an omnibus amendment, and a series of proposed amendments were rejected. Two Democrats on the committee joined in the Republican majority voting in support.
The budget bill contains several provisions related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a proposed 2% state income tax cut, and language that addresses funding of K-12 state schools. Additionally, HB 110 includes $1 million in proposed funding of a 2-year pilot program for the Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services pertaining to use of lockable or tamper-evident containers for schedule II drugs, and $85 million for H2Ohio, a water-quality program designed to help keep Lake Erie and other state waterways cleaner and safer.
OSMA is also working with the Department of Medicaid, pharmacy board, and the state administration to tighten and fine-tune proposed budget language related to the dispensing of smoking cessation drugs.
During the earlier deliberations on the budget, language was added to the substitute bill regarding non-medical switching, but this was later removed. Non-medical switching occurs when patients are forced to switch to a less expensive treatment in the middle of a plan year for no medical reason. This disrupts a physician’s ability to exercise their medical expertise and help their patients. OSMA, alongside the Ohio Association of Rheumatology, is supporting the prohibition of non-medical switching by insurers in separate standalone legislation (HB 153).
The budget bill will head into the Senate, where it is likely to face additional changes. Legislators must pass and deliver the final budget bill to Governor DeWine’s desk for signature by June 30. OSMA will continue to watch the process carefully and remain in contact with numerous legislators throughout the upcoming weeks of hearings in the Senate.