kasichBigGovernmentGovernor Kasich headed to Cleveland last week to accept the Sam Miller Goodness Award at the Project Love Celebration of Goodness luncheon. He was likely honored with the award due to his push to expand Medicaid in Ohio.

It’s a funny thing, but while Kasich was being honored for his goodness, he couldn’t help doing a little strong-arming. The Columbus Dispatch reports Kasich spoke with Rep. Marlene Anielski at the event and described the conversation as follows:

“Marlene, it’s our money. It’s not their money,” Kasich could be heard telling Anielski, at times moving his arms and pointing.”

The Dispatch explains Rep. Anielski opposes Medicaid expansion because of the use of federal dollars, but she is interested in achieving more coverage through in-state reforms.

Kasich took is his strong-arming public. During his speech he said,

“I just saw Marlene Anielski, who’s been kinda, ‘I don’t know what I want to do on this whole business of Medicaid.’ And I said look, Marlene, she’s leading an effort around this country on youth suicide. She’s taken a personal tragedy in her own family to try to save the lives of others. Fantastic. We need this program because we need to treat the addicted, and we need this program because we need to treat the mentally ill, and we need this program to treat and help the working poor get comprehensive health care.”

Kasich referred to Anielski’s work on teen suicide.  Rep. Anielksi knows first hand the pain the loss of a child can bring as her son took his own life.  Anielski sponsored a bill that became law earlier this year that requires school nurses, counselors and teachers to undergo training on suicide prevention so that they can spot the signs in young ones in their care before it is too late.

Rep. Anielski shed more light on her conversation with Kasich in her Dispatch quote,

“He said, ‘Come on. He said, ‘If I get you, I get others.’ He picked me because I’ve listened to him in the past; I haven’t drawn a line in the sand.”

Good, decent, caring Ohioans, can disagree on whether to expand Medicaid. In fact, 65% of Governor Kasich’s primary base disagrees with him on this issue and chances are most, if not all, are upstanding citizens. Trying to draw a contradictory relationship between Rep. Anielski using her family’s experience with suicide to help others and her decision to oppose Medicaid expansion is beyond the pale and not something for a public acceptance speech on goodness.

Governor Kasich needs to stop acting like he is the only Republican going to heaven, or he might just find the gates closing.

The Columbus Dispatch article, “Kasich chides Republican lawmaker over Medicaid expansion,” can be found here.