Governor Kasich is at it again – trying to divorce Medicaid expansion from Obamacare. But Media Trackers isn’t going to let him get away with it. In their recent article, “Why Does John Kasich Keep Lying about Obamacare,” Media Trackers highlights a January 23rd interview Governor Kasich did with radio host Bill Cunningham.
Cunningham asked Kasich why he “decided to sign onto Medicaid with Obamacare.” Kasich replied,
“Well, first of all, this has nothing to do with Obamacare. I think Obamacare is a disaster for the simple reason — not, beyond the computer, Bill — it doesn’t control the cost of healthcare. And we have a program here in the state that we are pushing, at some point if you wanna do a show on it I’d be glad to do it, but Obamacare is, I mean, it’s just messin’ up the economy and it isn’t gonna achieve any of the desired results. But when it came to Medicaid, the ability to bring our dollars back, so people who are drug-addicted can get treatment, people who have mental illness are not gonna be found in our jails or on the streets, that we’re gonna be able to help them to, uh, to have a good life. These are the things that motivate me to, uh, to bring our dollars back to make sure that we can have these kinds of needs met here in the state of Ohio. And — it’s no more complicated than that — and to get our money back here and to be in a position to be able to help folks who live in the shadows I think is, uh, well, it reflects my values.”
Nothing to do with Obamacare??? It appears Governor Kasich needs to be reminded that his administration joined with 25 other states to tell the U.S. Supreme Court that Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion was unconstitutional. As reported in a previous OLC article, “Magnitude of Kasich’s About-face Revealed in Court Brief,” the state of Ohio argued,
“Title II of the ACA expands the Medicaid program in multiple respects and transforms it from a cooperative program addressed to specific categories of the most needy into a mandatory program designed to fulfill the individual mandate for the entire non-elderly population with income below 138% of the federal poverty line.” (Emphasis added.)
While the outcome of the Obamacare lawsuit was not what most of the country, and especially Ohioans, had hoped for, “the people” did squeak out one win in the ruling, and it was an important one. The Court sided with Governor Kasich, the state of Ohio, and the 25 other states when it declared that the ACA’s Medicaid expansion turned a targeted program for the “neediest” citizens into “an element of a comprehensive national plan to provide universal health insurance coverage.” The Court stated,
“Under the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid is transformed into a program to meet the health care needs of the entire non elderly population with income below 133 percent of the poverty level. It is no longer a program to care for the neediest among us, but rather an element of a comprehensive national plan to provide universal health insurance coverage.” (Emphasis added.)
So, obviously, Governor Kasich has implemented a major component of Obamacare, a policy he admits “doesn’t control the cost of healthcare,” is “messin’ up the economy,” and “isn’t gonna achieve any of the desired results.”
The deed is done, Governor Kasich. There’s no use running away from it. Embrace it. Own it. Deal with it. And most of all – stop lying about it.
Ohioans must now put their noses to the grindstone and start paying for this substantial increase in government welfare. We will bear the consequences of this ill-fated policy with increasingly crowded ER rooms, rising insurance premiums, doctor shortages, and eventually, escalating taxes and an anemic economy.
And “the neediest among us” (as described by the U.S. Supreme Court) – the poor and disabled children for whom Medicaid was originally established – they will bear the highest price of all, for a program on which they heavily rely and which needs reformed is about to get larger and even more unmanageable.
Read Jason Hart’s article, “Why Does John Kasich Keep Lying About Obamacare,” at Media Trackers here.