Ohio

Gov. Kasich Helps Democrats Hound Obamacare Opponents

Policy Elijah Cummings
Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD)

Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) touted Ohio Governor John Kasich’s assurance that expanding Medicaid under Obamacare will “save lives” in a July 29 release meant to pressure other governors into emulating Kasich.

“Ohio Governor John Kasich stated: ‘It’s going to save lives.’ He added: ‘It’s going to help people, and you tell me what’s more important than that,'” wrote Cummings, the ranking minority member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and a member of the far-left Congressional Progressive Caucus.

“At a national level, if the 24 states that have not yet expanded Medicaid were to do so today, they would provide healthcare services to an additional 5.69 million people in 2016, receive an additional $423 billion in federal funds for their state budgets through 2022, and help create an additional 734,000 jobs through 2017,” Cummings insisted.

The current push from Democrats on the House Oversight Committee complements efforts from the White House to increase participation in the Obamacare Medicaid expansion by attacking Republican governors who have thus far refused to play along.

“Twenty-four states still haven’t acted to make more struggling families eligible for Medicaid — including many of the states that would benefit most,” a White House staffer wrote earlier this month, promoting an Obama Administration study into the benefits of “free” Medicaid coverage.

“Here’s why that’s a problem: If these states don’t opt to expand Medicaid, 5.7 million people won’t have access to health insurance coverage in 2016,” the White House release continued.

Congressman Cummings sent letters to Gov. Kasich and five other Republican governors asking them to “submit state-specific analyses they relied on to inform their decisions.”

“The data obtained by the Committee indicates that by expanding Medicaid in your state, you will be providing medical coverage to approximately 446,000 more residents, adding 54,000 new jobs through 2017, and receiving an additional $53 billion in federal funds over 2013 to 2022,” Cummings wrote in his letter to Kasich.

The Kasich Administration relied on a Health Policy Institute of Ohio (HPIO) study, Ohio Hospital Association talking points, and its own analysis to justify billions in new entitlement spending for able-bodied childless adults.

Shortly after its publication, the HPIO study was eviscerated by the free market Buckeye Institute. Media Trackers debunked warnings that Ohio hospitals had a dire need for Obamacare money, and recent figures indicate Obamacare expansion enrollment will blow past administration estimates.

With the recent Halbig v. Burwell ruling affirming that Obamacare “marketplace” subsidies cannot be issued in states with federally-run Obamacare exchanges, skyrocketing Medicaid enrollment remains one of few bright spots for Democrat champions of the law.

Legacy media reporters in several states have quoted from Gov. Kasich’s dishonest, pseudo-Christian arguments in their ongoing attempts to shame other Republican governors into enacting the Obamacare expansion.

In addition to claiming Medicaid expansion is “going to save lives,” Gov. Kasich has consistently misrepresented new federal spending as “Ohio’s tax dollars,” pretended that the Obamacare expansion has nothing to do with Obamacare, and told critics that expanding Medicaid is what God wants.

As millions of Americans have lost their health insurance and have been forced to buy more expensive policies with higher deductibles, President Obama himself has cited Kasich as proof of the law’s broad appeal.

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