Ohio

Gov. Kasich Serves as Lifeline for Obamacare

Policy President Obama
President Obama addresses the press, Nov. 14, 2013

President Obama cited Governor John Kasich’s embrace of the Obamacare Medicaid expansion as proof the law works during two separate November 14 speeches, flailing to defend his signature legislative achievement while it hikes insurance costs nationwide and causes millions to lose their policies.

“Another 396,000 have the ability to gain access to Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.  That’s been less reported on, but it shouldn’t be,” President Obama said during his November 14 press briefing, which resembled a marathon Obamacare mea culpa.

“Later today, I’ll be in Ohio, where Governor Kasich, a Republican, has expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act,” Obama continued. “And as many as 275,000 Ohioans will ultimately be better off because of it.”

Using Gov. Kasich to bludgeon the governors who have rejected his promise of billions in new Medicaid funding, the president added, “And if every governor followed suit, another 5.4 million Americans could gain access to health care next year.”

Obama and other leftists have offered similar praise for Kasich since the Republican governor circumvented the Ohio General Assembly for the Obamacare Medicaid expansion.

Hours after his November 14 presser, President Obama reiterated the same points during a speech at a Cleveland steel mill.

“I got to give your Governor a little bit of credit.  John Kasich, along with a lot of state legislators who are here today, they expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act,” the president said — although the Kasich Administration unilaterally expanded Medicaid.

Four legislators and one executive appointee voted to appropriate Obamacare funding for the Medicaid expansion, in a decision being challenged before the Ohio Supreme Court.

President Obama continued, “And think about that.  Just that one step means as many as 275,000 Ohioans are going to have health insurance.  And it doesn’t depend on a website.  That’s already happening because of the Affordable Care Act.”

Recognizing how unpopular Obamacare is, Gov. Kasich has persistently claimed that the Obamacare Medicaid expansion is not part of Obamacare.

“And I think it’s fair to say that the Governor didn’t do it because he just loves me so much,” President Obama joked. “We don’t agree on much, but he saw, well, this makes sense — why wouldn’t we do this?  Why wouldn’t we make sure that hundreds of thousands of people right here in Ohio have some security?  It was the right thing to do.”

Again using Kasich’s reputation as a fiscal conservative against all the conservatives who have stood up against Medicaid expansion, Obama said, “And, by the way, if every Republican governor did what Kasich did here rather than play politics about it, you’d have another 5.4 million Americans who could get access to health care next year, regardless of what happens with the website.”

“That’s their decision not to do it.  And it’s the wrong decision.  They’ve got to go ahead and sign folks up,” the president said.

“So the bottom line is sometimes we just have to set aside the politics and focus on what’s good for people,” Obama added, a refrain used extensively by Ohio’s entitlement lobby while trying to help Gov. Kasich ram the Obamacare Medicaid expansion through the state legislature.