Ohio Newspapers Praise Kasich’s Attempt to Bypass Legislature

Ohio’s major newspapers have praised Governor John Kasich’s decision to circumvent the General Assembly for the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, which will add hundreds of thousands of able-bodied childless Ohioans to the Medicaid rolls at a cost of billions per year.

“Gov. John Kasich deserves bipartisan cheers for asking the Ohio Controlling Board to extend Medicaid coverage to hundreds of thousands of Ohioans, many of them working poor who don’t earn enough to qualify for new health exchanges under the Affordable Care Act,” the Cleveland Plain Dealer editorial board wrote on October 14.

Slamming Ohio House Speaker Bill Batchelder and Ohio Senate President Keith Faber, the Plain Dealer editors opined, “Batchelder’s and Faber’s fecklessness left Kasich no choice but to ask the Controlling Board to act on Medicaid expansion.”

“Expanding Medicaid will help Ohio’s economy, reduce the number of emergency room visits, improve the economic and health outlook of poor residents and cut the amount of losses to hospitals that aren’t compensated for the care they provide,” the Cincinnati Enquirer editorial board wrote in an October 14 column.

The promises made by socialized medicine advocates and internalized by the Enquirer and Ohio’s other papers range from questionable to ludicrous, but Ohioans who rely on the legacy media haven’t been given both sides of the story.

“And so, while it isn’t the ideal solution, we applaud Gov. John Kasich for proposing to use the state’s Controlling Board as the vehicle to expand Medicaid,” the Enquirer editors continued. “It’s a creative way to achieve one of his policy goals that was previously unachievable because of a recalcitrant General Assembly.”

“When the Republican-controlled General Assembly isn’t making life harder for most Ohioans, it isn’t doing much of anything else,” the reliably shrill Toledo Blade editorial board wrote on October 14.

The Blade added, “GOP Gov. John Kasich is right to work around lawmakers of his own party who have rejected his sensible proposal to expand the state Medicaid program of health insurance for working-poor Ohioans and their families.”

“The governor waited through the summer, and into the fall,” The Akron Beacon Journal editorial board chimed in on October 14. “Yet the Republican majorities have made plain via their delays that they are not interested in expansion. On Friday, the governor ran out of patience, and appropriately so.”

The Ohio Revised Code requires the Controlling Board to act consistent with the intent of the General Assembly. Every newspaper acknowledges that Kasich has turned to the Controlling Board specifically because the General Assembly does not intend to enact the Obamacare Medicaid expansion.

State law is, however, of little concern to journalists eager to be generous with taxpayers’ money.

As the Beacon Journal editors swooned, “the expansion involves expanding opportunity, as much as anything, the poor and vulnerable in a better position to make something more of their lives.”

While the Plain Dealer, Enquirer, Blade, and Beacon Journal editorial boards cheered Gov. Kasich’s decision to bypass the Ohio General Assembly to enact a leftist policy the press has carried water for all year, Plain Dealer editor Kevin O’Brien took the opposite view in a scathing October 15 op-ed.

“Kasich isn’t that worried about being denied a second term by a not-ready-for-prime-time unknown who will struggle for votes south of Mansfield,” O’Brien wrote on October 15.

“But why take that chance when a dose of compassionate nonconservatism bought with other people’s money might provide a handy rebuttal to the barbs of interest groups still sore about Kasich’s role in the noble but horribly bungled effort to bring public employee unions to heel?”

Of Gov. Kasich’s pseudo-Christian rhetoric in favor of the Obamacare expansion, O’Brien wrote, “I’m willing to take him at his word that scripture drives all of his decisions. There’s probably a verse in there somewhere about cynical re-election strategies.”

To the severe disadvantage of Ohio’s taxpayers, O’Brien’s skepticism about billions in promised new DC entitlement spending makes him a pariah among editors at Ohio’s most powerful newspapers.

Surprisingly, The Columbus Dispatch — which has led the way in deliberately marginalizing critics of the Obamacare Medicaid expansion and refusing to cover evidence Medicaid expansion is a bad idea — has not yet taken a victory lap over Kasich’s decision to ram the policy through using the Controlling Board.

Speculation about who will vote “Yes” for the policy adored by Ohio’s press will be rampant until the board meets on October 21. Regardless of the Controlling Board’s decision, Ohioans should not expect any of the state’s legacy media outlets to stop advocating bigger government.