The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Ohio Democrat lawmakers want Governor Kasich to put Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion into state law. The Enquirer explains,
“Kasich is also likely to agree with Democrats’ call to put Medicaid expansion into Ohio law. Right now, the state must rely on regular renewals from the state’s seven-member Controlling Board, which approved the expansion this summer after the Legislature refused to do so.”
Kasich skirted the state legislature last October and expanded Medicaid through the Controlling Board which agreed to accept federal dollars in the amount of $2.5 billion to cover the expansion of Medicaid for the current fiscal year and the next.
While Kasich’s actions with respect to Medicaid expansion reminded many of President Obama’s executive orders, going to the Controlling Board for yearly renewals of a major welfare program is reminiscent of the U.S. Congress’ reliance on continuing resolutions to fund the federal government.
Kasich seems prone to take cues from Washington, and that’s not surprising given his well known desire to run for the presidency in 2016.
But, right now, Kasich is the governor of Ohio. The question needs to be asked: Don’t Ohioans deserve to have a welfare program amounting to, at the very least, $14 billion over the next six years debated and voted on by their elected representatives in the General Assembly as dictated by the Ohio Constitution?
And, what about Medicaid expansion recipients whom Kasich claimed he was called to help by his faith? Do these individuals know they have been made dependent on a health care program that has no long-term funding?
Governor Kasich has not mentioned the need to place Medicaid expansion into Ohio law. His willing enablers in the General Assembly, Speaker Batchelder and Senate President Faber, who reshuffled the deck to get Kasich the votes he needed on the Controlling Board, have remained equally silent.
Maybe the three are playing coy. Or, perhaps they hope to avert attention from their evasion of the constitutional duty to hold an up or down vote in the General Assembly on Medicaid expansion. A transparent vote means public accountability, something this Assembly seems keen on escaping when it comes to the issue of expansion.
A man of faith lives up to his promises – those to his fellow man and those to his maker.
Governor Kasich, your conscience should be calling.