Ohio Governor John Kasich repeated a false claim about Obamacare Medicaid expansion funding, reiterated his belief that God wants more entitlement spending, and threatened to circumvent the state legislature to expand Medicaid during an August 26 radio interview.
After 610 WTVN Columbus host Joel Riley and the governor briefly discussed skyrocketing health insurance costs caused by President Obama’s 2010 health law, Riley said, “you’ve taken some flack about the Medicare expansion – give me the thumbnail on where we are with that in Ohio.”
“Well, Medicaid expansion is different than Obamacare,” Gov. Kasich replied.
This claim is completely, obviously untrue. Medicaid expansion is a central component of Obamacare, and all of the new federal funding Kasich hopes to secure by expanding Medicaid would result from Ohio’s compliance with Obamacare.
Riley did not challenge the governor, who explained, “what we wanna do is to be able to bring back $14 billion of our money, Ohio taxpayer money, to distribute to people who treat folks who are addicted, the alcohol and drug community organizations.”
Since February, Gov. Kasich has insisted that adopting the Obamacare Medicaid expansion would “keep” Ohioans’ money in Ohio or “return” Ohio tax dollars to the state. This line of argument is false, because every state’s projected Obamacare Medicaid expansion funding represents new federal spending that will not occur if the state does not expand Medicaid.
Again, Riley did not challenge the governor’s dishonest talking point. Kasich continued by rattling off a list of disadvantaged populations he pretends Ohio can help only by expanding Medicaid.
After once more repeating the long-debunked narrative about “getting some of our money back from Washington,” Gov. Kasich warned “we’ll have to look at some other options” if the General Assembly refuses to implement the Obamacare Medicaid expansion.
Riley then paraphrased Gov. Kasich’s June 18 suggestion that legislators may be refused entry into Heaven for failing to support the Obamacare Medicaid expansion before asking, “is that something that still drives you as governor?”
“Well, Joel, there’s this, there’s this book that’s out there, it’s got, like, an old part and a new part, and they’re put together in one book,” Gov. Kasich replied. “And when you read this book, you begin – you realize that we will be held accountable, and it’s not only being held accountable but the right way to live is to make sure that those who do not have the blessings that we have, those who are beleaguered, those who have fallen on hard times – we can’t ignore them.”
“We have to help them, and we’re expected to do that, and I believe the Lord expects us to do that,” Kasich added. “And it’s spelled out pretty clearly in that Old & New Testament, consistently.”
Kasich and Riley went on to discuss the governor’s current campaign – driven by advertising including at least one ad confusing billions and trillions – for a federal balanced budget amendment.
A transcription of the remarks in question follows, and the interview is available on 610 WTVN’s website.
Gov. John Kasich: “Well, the Medicaid expansion is different than Obamacare. Basically, what we wanna do is to be able to bring back $14 billion of our money, Ohio taxpayer money, to distribute to people who treat folks who are addicted, the alcohol and drug community organizations. We want to give people a chance to get rehabbed and get back to work. We also believe that we need some resources to help the people who are mentally ill – we were supposed to do this at the community level, we really have not done it.”
“It gives us an opportunity to give those folks a chance, many of them live on the streets or they’re in our jails, and that is not the way I think we should run our state. And I also believe that those people who are working poor, who don’t have health insurance, who get their health insurance in the emergency room, need to be given some assistance as well. So, we have an opportunity to solve some of – or to try to fight some of the problems that we have in our state by getting some of our money back from Washington.”
“The legislature has told me they’re gonna try to do something here, we’re gonna hold ’em to that, and if they don’t come through, we’ll have to look at some other options, but we think it’s a very important plan. And here’s the thing, Joel, as I have said all along, that as Ohio does better it is important that we do not ignore people who live in the shadows. It is really important that we reach out and build a bridge so people can go from a dependence situation into full employment, where they can realize their hopes and dreams also.”
“Well, Joel, there’s this, there’s this book that’s out there, it’s got, like, an old part and a new part, and they’re put together in one book. And when you read this book, you begin – you realize that we will be held accountable, and it’s not only being held accountable but the right way to live is to make sure that those who do not have the blessings that we have, those who are beleaguered, those who have fallen on hard times – we can’t ignore them. We have to help them.”
“And we’re expected to do that, and I believe the Lord expects us to do that. And it’s spelled out pretty clearly in that Old & New Testament, consistently. And, you know, I also was raised by a mom and dad that said, you know, it’s a sin not to help people who need help, but it’s also a sin to help people who need to learn how to help themselves. So it’s not just giveaway, it’s also: help, hold accountable, have some discipline, but give everyone a chance to be able to have the kind of hopes and dreams that those who’ve had blessings have been able to receive. Help share it with others.”