In a January 23 interview with Bill Cunningham on Cincinnati’s 700 WLW, Gov. Kasich stuck to his insistence that the Obamacare Medicaid expansion “has nothing to do with Obamacare” and was a decision he made to “get our money back.”
States expanding their Medicaid programs in compliance with Obamacare have done so for the promise of vast sums of new federal funding. Medicaid expansion is central to the Democrats’ unpopular 2010 health law.
But according to Gov. Kasich, a Republican, the Obamacare Medicaid expansion is separate from Obamacare and will be funded with Ohio money that would otherwise go elsewhere. With tens of billions of dollars on the line, Kasich’s false talking points are far from garden-variety political spin.
Kasich included the Obamacare Medicaid expansion in his budget plan last February, and has been lying about it ever since. Why has he continued to do so when his claims are so easily refuted?
Ohio’s print and TV reporters are too busy cheering Medicaid expansion to challenge its champion. Most talk radio hosts seem to think John Kasich can do no wrong, and the Ohio Republican Party has worked to blacklist anyone who tries to hold Kasich accountable.
For nearly a year — in his office’s budget summary, in radio and television interviews, at rallies, and even during his 2013 State of the State address — Kasich has misled Ohioans about billions per year in taxpayer money.
It’s impossible to argue that Gov. Kasich’s Obamacare deception has been inconsequential or unintentional. Kasich used variations of his “bring our dollars back” line three times in last week’s 700 WLW interview alone.
Because the Kasich Administration agrees with the Ohio Democratic Party and the left-leaning media on the underlying policy, the governor essentially has a pass to say whatever he chooses in service of a bigger welfare state.
A transcript of the Obamacare discussion in Kasich’s January 23 conversation with Cunningham follows.
Bill Cunningham: A good number of fellow conservative governors — uh, Florida, Wisconsin, and those are two governors along with yourself that I respect a bunch because of the challenges they have, three different states, three diverse states, three run by conservative governors — all three decided to sign onto Medicaid, uh, with Obamacare. Looking back on that decision, you’ve angered some on the left, you’ve angered some on the right, what was the main reason you decided to put Ohio in Medicaid with Obama?
John Kasich: Well, first of all, this has nothing to do with Obamacare. I think Obamacare is a disaster for the simple reason — not, beyond the computer, Bill — it doesn’t control the cost of healthcare. And we have a program here in the state that we are pushing, at some point if you wanna do a show on it I’d be glad to do it, but Obamacare is, I mean, it’s just messin’ up the economy and it isn’t gonna achieve any of the desired results. But when it came to Medicaid, the ability to bring our dollars back, so people who are drug-addicted can get treatment, people who have mental illness are not gonna be found in our jails or on the streets, that we’re gonna be able to help them to, uh, to have a good life. These are the things that motivate me to, uh, to bring our dollars back to make sure that we can have these kinds of needs met here in the state of Ohio. And — it’s no more complicated than that — and to get our money back here and to be in a position to be able to help folks who live in the shadows I think is, uh, well, it reflects my values.