Ohio

Ohio Newspapers Swoon as Gov. Kasich Shreds Separation of Powers

Media

Ohio’s newspapers have shown their enthusiasm for an unrestrained executive by cheering this week’s Obamacare Medicaid expansion maneuvering from Republican Governor John Kasich.

When the Ohio Controlling Board — led by a Kasich appointee — approved the Kasich Administration’s request to appropriate over $2.5 billion in Obamacare money, Ohio’s press praised the likely-illegal enactment of a policy they have promoted in news and opinion coverage all year.

The Cincinnati Enquirer and Columbus Dispatch extolled the state’s chief executive for having the “courage” to ram through the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, though Ohio’s 5 largest papers have all pounded Kasich’s critics for months while pointing to the “diverse” army of interest groups demanding more taxpayer money.

In the minds of the press, the “rigid intimidators” wrecking our political process are not the union bosses, Ohio Hospital Association, Chamber of Commerce, or any of the entrenched lobbyists on Capitol Square, but the limited-government Ohioans John Kasich insisted he spoke for when running for office in 2010.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer, meanwhile, bashed “demagogic claims” that Gov. Kasich bypassed the Ohio General Assembly by expanding Medicaid eligibility unilaterally and then warning the Controlling Board the state’s Medicaid program would go bankrupt without the Obamacare money.

The Dispatch, Enquirer, Associated Press, and Democrat gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald have all acknowledged that Kasich’s Controlling Board move bypassed the General Assembly.

Cincinnati Enquirer“Kudos to Gov. John Kasich for having the courage to buck many of his party’s legislators and push ahead with an expansion of Ohio’s Medicaid health insurance program.”

[…]

“It wasn’t an ideal solution, as it may face a court challenge, but it was a bold and compassionate one.”

Kasich had courage on Medicaid, 10/22/2013 Cincinnati Enquirer editorial
Cleveland Plain Dealer“Gov. John Kasich deserves enormous credit not only for seeking to expand Medicaid but also for figuring out how to accomplish that in the face of a quailing legislature. The Ohio Controlling Board’s bipartisan 5-2 vote Monday means hundreds of thousands of Ohioans, many from the ranks of the working poor, some of them veterans, will be eligible for Medicaid.”

“Contrary to demagogic claims, Kasich didn’t ‘bypass’ the General Assembly by turning to the Controlling Board.”

Columbus Dispatch“On Monday, Gov. John Kasich got the right thing done for Ohio.”

[…]

“But a small number of right-wing ideologues oppose expanding Medicaid because the federal funds for it come as part of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act and because they oppose any further federal deficit spending. This, despite the fact that as state lawmakers, their fiduciary responsibility is to the state and its residents.”

“Their unthinking rejection would have hurt vulnerable Ohioans, turned aside potential savings of state tax dollars and left hospitals on the hook for more uncompensated care.”

Toledo Blade“Republican Gov, John Kasich brought the matter before the appointed seven-member board, which makes adjustments to the state budget, after the GOP-run General Assembly shamefully ignored for eight months his plea to enact Medicaid expansion.”

Akron Beacon Journal“With the 5-2 vote of the State Controlling Board on Monday, John Kasich finally has won the authorization needed to route federal funds into expanding Medicaid in Ohio. The decision amounts to an unqualified win for uninsured low-income residents and for the general health of the state and its economy.”

Medicaid majority, 10/22/2013 Akron Beacon Journal editorial

Even before Kasich announced on October 11 that he would unilaterally redefine Medicaid by expanding the program to hundreds of thousands of able-bodied childless adults, Ohio’s press was pushing for the executive branch to circumvent the legislature.

For weeks the press has celebrated Kasich’s decision to ask the Controlling Board to appropriate billions in new entitlement spending for a policy the legislature stripped from his budget and then expressly forbade in the budget passed by the House and Senate.

“On Friday, the governor ran out of patience, and appropriately so,” the Beacon Journal editorial board opined on October 15.

“It’s a creative way to achieve one of his policy goals that was previously unachievable because of a recalcitrant General Assembly,” the Enquirer editors cooed in an October 15 column titled “Deft move.”

The lesson? Ohio’s legacy press will repeat any shallow talking point if doing so helps grow government, and will diligently ignore fact-based criticism of leftist policy goals.

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