Governor John Kasich fumbled through a November 15 The O’Reilly Factor interview with guest host Laura Ingraham, frustrated by more thorough questioning about the Obamacare Medicaid expansion than any Ohio reporter has subjected him to.
Introducing the segment with a clip of the president’s November 14 speech in Cleveland, Ingraham explained that President Obama “heaped praise on the Republican governor” for expanding Medicaid.
“Joining us now from Columbus, Ohio, the aforementioned BFF [best friend forever] of Barack Obama, the governor of the Buckeye State, John Kasich,” Ingraham joked. “Are you BFFs for real?
“I had a chance to bring Ohio money back to Ohio to do some things that, frankly, needed to be done — and that’s to treat the mentally ill, to get them across the bridge so they can get employment,” Kasich said.
“The same for the drug-addicted — and you know drug addiction is in every demographic, every income, every community — to treat those people, rehab them, and get them to work,” the governor continued, pretending as he has all year that the sweeping Obamacare Medicaid expansion is the only way to address a few specific issues.
“And also to make sure that the working poor have a system that makes sense instead of showing up and getting all their health care in emergency rooms,” Kasich added, asserting that Medicaid reduces emergency room usage contrary to the Oregon study published in The New England Journal of Medicine this May.
“Now, that being said, I have never been a supporter of Obamacare,” Kasich added. Kasich has insisted the Obamacare Medicaid expansion is separate from Obamacare since July.
While generously praising Kasich’s record, Ingraham asked an obvious question that Ohio’s press has ignored.
“Isn’t that a little bit tricky, though, as a conservative — because you’re so great on budgetary matters, you were great up on the Hill, and all the work you did there — when the federal government is spending money that we know the federal government really doesn’t have to expand a program like this?”
“Well, you know very well, Laura, that if I don’t bring Ohio money back, they’re not gonna put it in a piggy bank,” Kasich said before promptly changing the subject.
“Conservatism means that you help people so they can help themselves, and that they can enter into the economic strength of our country,” Kasich explained.
“Now, you have to separate that from the fact that the government was designing a program to take over our whole health care system in the backrooms on Capitol Hill,” he continued. “I don’t support that. But there’s a big distinction between Medicaid and our ability to bring our money back to fix our problems, as opposed to a government takeover of the health care system.”
“You’re such a fiscal conservative, I understand what you’re saying, and everyone wants compassion for the poor, I get that,” Ingraham replied. “We also have a real budget problem.”
After boasting about his time in Congress during the 1990s, Gov. Kasich lied about the Obamacare Medicaid expansion funding for the fourth time in as many minutes.
“This is about our money. Washington doesn’t have any money — I want our money back,” the governor said.
Visibly agitated and stepping on his false talking point after again repeating his emergency room claim, Kasich asserted, “I’m the CEO of this state. I have a chance to bring $14 billion out of Washington to me, to the people here in my state who need this help–”
“By the way, everyone doesn’t realize this, but Governor Kasich and I are friends, we are friends,” Ingraham interjected. Before running for governor in 2010, Kasich was a Fox News host.
Ingraham continued, “But the legislature, the Republicans are squarely against this, most of them, right, and they’re actually suing–”
“That’s not true. That’s not true,” the governor interrupted.
Ingraham asked, “Wait, are they not bringing a lawsuit to stop the Medicaid expansion?”
“No that’s, that’s people on the outside,” Kasich lied of the Ohio Supreme Court case brought by six Republican legislators and two Right to Life groups.
“Now, if the leaders did not support this, they wouldn’t have allowed this to happen,” the governor said of his end-run around the General Assembly, using the Ohio Controlling Board to appropriate billions in Obamacare funding.
Regardless of what House Speaker Bill Batchelder and Senate President Keith Faber wanted, Ohio’s legislature stripped the Obamacare Medicaid expansion from Kasich’s proposed budget — and then approved language specifically forbidding the expansion.
Throwing either Batchelder or Faber under the bus, Gov. Kasich said, “You know what one of the leaders told me? ‘Because you did it, we didn’t have to do it, thank you, you made it easier for us politically.'”
Trying to salvage an interview that seemed liable to get Fox News on the Kasich Administration’s media blacklist, the governor then patted himself on the back for the supposed roaring comeback Ohio has seen under his leadership.