The editorial board of The Columbus Dispatch advocated for Medicaid expansion in eight columns published between February 4 and June 18, cheering for bigger government and insisting opponents had no serious arguments.
No Dispatch staff editorial expressed anything resembling doubt in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) Medicaid expansion – and editors’ opinions heavily influenced the paper’s news coverage during the 18-week period reviewed by Media Trackers.
The state’s most influential paper will no doubt continue misleading the public in an attempt to pressure legislators into implementing the PPACA Medicaid expansion as a standalone bill, now that Governor John Kasich has signed Ohio’s budget for fiscal years 2014 and 2015.
For an idea of how energetically the Dispatch editorial board has pushed Medicaid expansion already, refer to the following excerpts from each of the Dispatch editorials published between 02/04/2013 and 06/18/2013.
“In pursuing an expansion of Medicaid under the federal health-care overhaul, Gov. John Kasich wisely is putting pragmatism before party and ideology.”
“Kasich has made his opposition to the Affordable Care Act plain, but he understands that it is now a fact of life. Any responsible leader also can see that the terms of the expansion will benefit Ohio.”
Kasich’s Medicaid plan makes sense
“Kasich is taking heat from fellow Republicans for his plan to expand Medicaid using federal dollars. From Democrats, it’s flak over his proposal to lower state income tax and lower, but more broadly apply, state sales tax. This diverse chorus of complaints illustrates what sets Kasich apart from most politicians: He panders to no special interest but Ohio’s welfare. He works to solve problems, not play on a political team.”
“That will be no comfort to Ohioans if lawmakers reject his good ideas. Anyone who is putting Ohioans’ best interests first can see that expanding Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act is the right call.”
Kasich plan makes sense
“Give Kasich credit for making federal officials understand that allowing some flexibility could help win approval for Medicaid expansion in Ohio.”
“Closing the deal on this sensible and humane change is up to federal bureaucrats and state lawmakers.”
Seeking a better deal
“They seem to think that if they block the Medicaid expansion, they will be striking a blow against the health-care law.”
“But none of this is true, and if these lawmakers persist in opposition, they will be hurting Ohioans while doing nothing to impede the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.”[…]
“So Ohio House opposition to expanding Medicaid coverage to 275,000 more people at nearly no cost to the state, is stubborn and pointless.”
Fighting the wrong battle; Blocking Medicaid plan would hurt Ohioans, not Obamacare
“House Republicans who struck the Medicaid expansion from Kasich’s budget, had no rational or practical reason for opposing it. Accepting the expansion not only means that 275,000 additional Ohioans have health-insurance coverage, it means the state will spend less on health care than it does now.”
“Opposition to Medicaid expansion is purely ideological. The offer comes as part of the Obamacare law that tea party conservatives despise, and it means more federal-government deficit spending. But turning it down changes nothing.”
New hope for expansion; Extending Medicaid will help Ohioans and state’s economy
“Ohio has at least one clear opportunity to address the problem: Accepting the federally funded expansion of Medicaid, as Gov. John Kasich is urging, would mean that 75,000 Ohioans with mental illness would gain access to health insurance to pay for mental-health care, not to mention medical coverage to address the myriad health problems that can attend mental illness.”
Time to shift view; Mental health should be seen as vital as physical well-being
“Gov. John Kasich’s bid for the expansion was stripped from his budget proposal by House Republicans more concerned with politics than problem-solving, and the Senate’s version of the budget didn’t restore it.”
“Some ideologues refuse to consider expansion because it is an element of the federal Affordable Care Act that they oppose. No matter that the expansion brings better health-care coverage to 275,000 needy Ohioans at no expense to the state treasury. In fact, expansion leaves the state richer, by providing Medicaid funding for things such as prisoners’ care that now are covered by the state.”
Expansion hope lives; Lawmaker’s bill sweetens deal to extend state’s Medicaid coverage
“Gov. John Kasich has more than one budget fight on his hands, as the General Assembly undermines his efforts to reform taxes sensibly and to boost the state’s economy and well-being with a federally funded expansion of Medicaid.”
Lowering the bar for nursing homes