John Kasich: God Wants Ohio to Expand Medicaid
Governor John Kasich, a Republican, repeated his insistence that God wants Ohio to expand Medicaid when reporters brought up the topic on June 18. Kasich suggested anyone who opposes Medicaid expansion will have to answer for their opposition when they die.
Gov. Kasich said he recently told a state legislator, “I respect the fact that you believe in small government. I do too. I also happen to know that you’re a person of faith.”
“Now, when you die and get to the, get to the, uh, to the meeting with St. Peter, he’s probably not gonna ask you much about what you did about keeping government small, but he’s going to ask you what you did for the poor,” Kasich said. “Better have a good answer.”
Video of the governor’s remarks is available courtesy of Marc Kovac at Ohio Capital Blog.
Kasich leaned heavily on his Christian faith to push the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) Medicaid expansion during his February 19 State of the State address, implying the only options were to dramatically increase entitlement spending or leave Ohio’s poor “out in the street.”
Also during his State of the State address – and in numerous appearances after – the governor misled legislators, the press, and the public about how PPACA Medicaid expansion funding works.
For months, Kasich has claimed billions in new federal spending would consist entirely of “Ohio’s tax dollars” and warned that “Ohio’s” PPACA Medicaid expansion funds will go to other states if the General Assembly rejects the expansion, inaccurately insisting nothing can stop PPACA spending.
Ohio’s legacy media have made no effort to hold Gov. Kasich accountable for those false statements, much as reporters have done nothing to scrutinize claims from health care lobbying groups that the state needs to expand Medicaid.
A transcript of Governor Kasich’s June 18 comments to the press follows.
“I mean, all of these bills are in, and I’ve made it clear to them that we need it. I mean, here I’m talking to a business group, talking about how important it is. It’ll either be in the budget or it’ll be later but I just wanna make it clear: I will not give up this fight till we get this done, period, exclamation point.”
“I’ve, I’ve, I’ve, I’ve pleaded, I’ve argued, I’ve presented, it’s what it is in this business, so… I’m not gonna give this up, I will not. I don’t care how long it takes, hopefully it’ll be sooner rather than longer, I’m gonna do my best. And I’m being, as I told you last week, Joe, sometimes pleasantly persistent, and maybe persistent without all the pleasantness. I mean, we just have to get this done.”
“Ya know, because people are poor doesn’t mean they don’t work hard. Because people are poor doesn’t mean that – it sometimes means they couldn’t pull themselves up by their bootstraps at some point in time. The most important thing for this legislature to think about: put yourself in somebody else’s shoes.”
“Put yourself in the shoes of a mother and a father with an adult child that’s struggling. Walk in somebody else’s moccasins. Understand that, ya know, poverty is real, and that when people are poor… I’ll tell ya somethin’, I had a; I had a comment; I had a conversation with a, one of the leaders… wasn’t one of the leaders, but one of the members of the legislature the other day.”
“I said, ‘I respect the fact that you believe in small government. I do too. I also happen to know that you’re a person of faith. Now, when you die and get to the, get to the, uh, to the meeting with St. Peter, he’s probably not gonna ask you much about what you did about keeping government small, but he’s going to ask you what you did for the poor. Better have a good answer.’”
“I can’t go any harder than that! I got nothing left than that, so… and I wanna compliment Jan Brewer, the gov- the conservative governor of Arizona, um, nobody would’ve ever thought… and so, this is not a support of Obamacare, this a support of helping our communities, our health care systems, the poor, the disabled, the addicted, and the mentally ill. That’s what this is about, and we need to do it as Ohioans.”