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Saturday, January 14, 2017

Gov. Kasich’s Medicaid Expansion again

art credit: KUT

Legal Insurrection reports [original links retained]

Full repeal or “roll back parts of ObamaCare”?

The ObamaCare Medicaid expansion is a horrible deal for low income Americans; it’s also where a large number of “newly covered” Americans get their new coverage.

Not only does the expansion include “automatic” enrollment in Medicaid through ObamaCare even if it’s not wanted, but expanding Medicaid to slightly higher income levels includes many who have managed to acquire a home or other assets.  Their home and assets, however, go to pay for their Medicaid bills after they die.  In essence, then, Medicaid functions as a loan from the federal government just as it always has, but because the income level has been raised, more Medicaid recipients than ever will have their assets seized to cover the cost of their Medicaid expenses.

Despite this, some GOP governors are fighting their own party to keep the Medicaid expansion in their states.

Republican governors who reaped the benefits of Obamacare now find themselves in an untenable position — fighting GOP lawmakers in Washington to protect their states’ health coverage.

. . . .  President-elect Donald Trump heaped more pressure on lawmakers to find a resolution of the issue this week when he vowed to “repeal and replace Obamacare essentially simultaneously” after the Senate confirms Rep. Tom Price, his pick for Health and Human Services secretary.

But Trump’s push comes as at least five of the 16 Republican governors of states that took federal money to expand Medicaid are advocating to keep it or warning GOP leaders of disastrous consequences if the law is repealed without a replacement that keeps millions of people covered. They include Govs. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, Rick Snyder of Michigan, John Kasich of Ohio, Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas and Brian Sandoval of Nevada.

The governors explain why they want to keep the Medicaid expansion in their states.

Politico continues:

“We are now able to provide health insurance to 700,000 people,” said Kasich, who circumvented his state Legislature to enact expansion in 2013 and who was the sole GOP presidential candidate in 2016 to defend that portion of Obamacare.

“Let’s just say they just got rid of it, didn’t replace it with anything,” he said. “What happens to the 700,000 people? What happens to drug treatment? What happens to mental health counseling? What happens to these people who have very high cholesterol and are victims from a heart attack? What happens to them?”
. . .

Part of Kasich’s argument is that the federal taxpayer dollars his state gets for Medicaid expansion is “our money,” that of Ohioans.

Hot Air explains this is not exactly the case:

Expanding Medicaid, Kasich has said, allowed him to “bring Ohio money back home,” preventing other states from getting $13 billion of “Ohioans’ federal tax dollars” in the first seven years. He circumvented a legislative ban on Obamacare expansion, waving off concerns about the cost with appeals to his experience in Congress in the ’90s.

In just three years, Kasich’s Obamacare expansion cost $11.3 billion, and not a penny of that new federal spending was “Ohio money” that would have otherwise gone to another state.

It’s not clear what President-elect Trump or the GOP Congress plan to do with or about the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion should they indeed succeed in repealing the entire law rather than picking and choosing what parts to to keep and what to “roll back.”

This report can remind voters why they should push Columbus legislators to pass the Ohio Health Care Compact, so that Ohio citizens can decide if they want to maintain or reject Obamacare. Recall that in 2011,

State Issue 3, a public vote on passage of the Healthcare Freedom Amendment in Ohio, passed overwhelmingly in all 88 Ohio counties.  In Cuyahoga County, the Amendment passed 202,010 votes (58.24%) to 144,908 votes (41.76%). [Source: Ohio GOP

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