This paper examines politicians’ influence on budgets in governing public sector organizations. Theoretical reasoning is based on the position-practice concept applied in structuration theory. Research took place in a hospital district in Finland from 2009 to 2015. The findings show that politicians set coercive budgetary policies, but there was no direct relationship between budgets and actual medical practices. As a result, the budget was simply a ‘ceremonial’ tool of political governance, as medical professionals concentrate on delivering healthcare services.