Governor John Kasich reiterated his false claim that the Obamacare Medicaid expansion will be funded solely with “Ohio money” and pretended the expansion was separate from Obamacare during an October 27 appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press.
After Gov. Kasich criticized the implementation of the Obamacare exchanges at HealthCare.gov, Meet the Press host David Gregory asked Kasich to explain his support for the Obamacare Medicaid expansion in light of his stated opposition to President Obama’s 2010 health law.
Their discussion follows, and a transcript of the remarks in question is included at the conclusion of this story.
“Chief Justice Roberts gave every state an opportunity to try to get federal dollars to improve Medicaid,” Gov. Kasich said, falsely framing the Obamacare Medicaid expansion as a product of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2012 Obamacare decision.
Even the tirelessly pro-Obamacare expansion Columbus Dispatch pointed out how ridiculous this statement was when Gov. Kasich foisted it onto Ohio reporters more than three months ago.
The Medicaid expansion Kasich rammed through the Ohio Controlling Board last week is central to Obamacare, and the Supreme Court merely forbade Washington from cutting existing Medicaid funding to states rejecting the expansion.
“So Ohio gets a good deal,” Kasich continued. “We get $14 billion of Ohio money back to Ohio to deal with some of the most serious problems.”
Gov. Kasich has used several variations of this talking point over the past 8 months, describing billions in new federal deficit spending as “Ohio’s tax dollars” which Ohio can only “keep” in the state or “bring back” to the state by enacting the Obamacare Medicaid expansion.
Kasich’s claims about Obamacare Medicaid expansion funding — that it will be spent in other states if Ohio does not expand Medicaid, and his claim most recently repeated on Meet the Press that it will be “Ohio money” — are absolutely false.
The Kasich Administration has nonetheless pushed its deceitful narrative since early February, aided by a left-leaning press that is rarely skeptical of arguments used to grow government.
DAVID GREGORY: But wait a minute. But, Governor–
GOV. JOHN KASICH: That’s the difficulty here.
DAVID GREGORY: –you took on your legislature because you said, “We need to accept federal money for Medicaid,” because you said, you know, “More important when you go to heaven than whether you kept government small was what did you do for the poor?” You seem to be articulating a view that’s not just compassionate but that reflects the belief that the more people you help, that ultimately you can cull costs that way. If there’s more health care, better health care for more people in Ohio, costs will have to come down. So how are you not in line with what the president believes about the potential strength of–
GOV. JOHN KASICH: Well–
DAVID GREGORY: –Obamacare?
GOV. JOHN KASICH: Yes. Well, first of all, David, as you can tell, I’ve articulated my opposition to Obamacare. But Chief Justice Roberts gave every state an opportunity to try to get federal dollars to improve Medicaid. Now, we have many mentally ill people in this country who are being treated terribly; we have people who are drug addicted, and drug addiction is in every demographic, every race, every income level. And we also have many veterans who aren’t covered.
So Ohio gets a good deal. We get $14 billion of Ohio money back to Ohio to deal with some of the most serious problems. And, you know, I’m not going to ignore the mentally ill and I’m not going to ignore the drug addicted or veterans or very working poor people on my watch. But that doesn’t mean I embrace Obamacare because I think it’s not right.