Ohio Governor John Kasich, a Republican, repeated what has become his go-to lie about Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion when Fox News host Neil Cavuto brought up the topic during a March 18 interview.
“You have helped, or had their back, certainly, in the government in Ohio by not completely repudiating things like Medicaid,” Cavuto said of Kasich’s pro-business record. “In fact, a lot of your critics say, on the right, you’ve been almost over-pushing that and it has hurt your image with them. What do you make of that?”
“Well, Neil, look, I had a chance to bring $14 billion of Ohioans’ money back to treat people who have mental illness, to make sure that they don’t end up in our jails and prisons, and also the ability to rehab people — because our addiction problems in this country are extremely severe,” Gov. Kasich replied.
The governor used a similar line when Fox host Laura Ingraham questioned him about Medicaid expansion during a November appearance on The O’Reilly Factor.
Alas, Kasich’s insistence that the Obamacare Medicaid expansion will “bring $14 billion of Ohioans’ money back” was just as false yesterday as it was last spring, when the number Kasich was using was $13 billion.
The Obamacare Medicaid expansion which Gov. Kasich enacted unilaterally — and which he threatened to bankrupt Ohio’s Medicaid program for — will be funded entirely by new government spending. That spending would not occur if Ohio did not enact the Obamacare Medicaid expansion.
A recent Congressional Budget Office report attests to this, as does every detailed projection of Obamacare costs released in the past several years: fewer states expanding Medicaid means less Medicaid spending from both DC and the states.
According to the left-leaning Urban Institute, over the next nine years Kasich’s Medicaid expansion will increase federal Medicaid spending by an estimated $53 billion and will increase Ohio’s Medicaid spending by an estimated $4 billion.
“Now, I could leave the $14 billion in Washington, Neil, and I’m sure they’d do a good job with it,” Kasich told Cavuto jokingly. “My sense is, we get that money back here to Ohio and deal with some of our significant problems, that’s the right thing to do.”
“So what do you say to your colleagues who don’t take it? They just say, ‘Shove it, keep it where it is,'” Cavuto interjected.
“Well, I mean, that’s their choice, right? And I have other colleagues that have said that they would take it, and – what I look at, Neil, is two things: look, here’s the way I look at things,” Kasich replied. “Number one, strengthen your economy, which we are clearly doing here in Ohio.”
“But at the same time you do that, you gotta take care of people who live in the shadows to get them outta the ditch so they can experience the same kind of opportunities people have who are out there working,” Gov. Kasich continued. “So all these numbers mean one thing: give people a chance to realize their God-given destiny and their God-given potential, and whether they have mental illness or whether they have drug addiction, if we can do some things to help them to be productive — and we can do more of that now because we have some of our money home.”
Having lied a second time about how the Obamacare Medicaid expansion will be paid for, Kasich suggested Ohioans should all be treated as wards of the State.
“And, the other side of it is, we have strengthened Ohio’s economy, which gives us the chance to be able to help people.”
“Neil, it’s no different than, if a mom and dad are stronger financially they can help their children, and when they’re weak, they can’t. The same is true with government,” Kasich said. “When the economy is strong out here, we can do more to help people who need to be helped.”
An estimated 90 percent of the Ohioans eligible for Medicaid under Kasich’s Obamacare Medicaid expansion are able-bodied childless adults.
Pressed by Cavuto about the 2016 GOP presidential primary, Kasich stuck by his standard reply that he’s “not interested” in running for president.
Whatever his political goals, Kasich is helping President Obama pressure states still debating the Obamacare Medicaid expansion by consistently misrepresenting the expansion as a program for drug addicts and the mentally ill that won’t increase federal spending.