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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Gov. John Kasich, Medicaid expansion, and 'mean politics'

Yesterday, Gov. John Kasich addressed the City Club Forum to promote his 2-year budget plan. From The Plain Dealer:

Two months after introducing his policy-packed budget plan and launching an all-out sales pitch to pass it, Ohio Gov. John Kasich is no closer to getting what he wants.
So given the bully pulpit Wednesday at a City Club of Cleveland forum, Kasich tried a little bit of everything to freshen up his sales pitch and persuade his fellow -- typically loyal -- Republicans to back at least some of his proposals.
. . .
But between Kasich’s pleas were several acknowledgements that parts of his two-year budget appear doomed, despite GOP majorities in the House and Senate. Republican lawmakers have balked at Medicaid expansion and proposals to raise taxes on oil and gas drillers while extending the state sales tax to include products and services never before subject to it.
. . .
Kasich’s tone of compromise changed, though, whenever the subject shifted to Medicaid expansion. Conservatives have blasted move as the embrace of a flawed system and of President Barack Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Tea Party activists have threatened primaries against Republican lawmakers who vote for the expansion.
“This nasty, mean politics must come to an end,” Kasich said Wednesday. “When it comes particularly to poor people, there is no partisanship. I don’t care if they’re addicted. I don’t care if they’re disabled. I’m not leaving them behind.”
. . .
“Isn’t it great that when politicians get the office they seek they want ‘nasty, mean politics’ to stop?” Seth Morgan, a conservative activist and former state legislator who has criticized Medicaid expansion, wrote in an email after the event.
“Expanding a broken system is not compassion,” Morgan added. “It’s simply making a bigger broken system.”

Indeed. Last month, The Heritage Foundation posted “Why the Obamacare Medicaid Expansion Is Bad for Taxpayers and Patients.” It’s not about health. It’s not about care. And it’s not affordable. 

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