It is fashionable for Republicans to oppose ObamaCare. Not one Republican in Congress voted for passage of this healthcare law in 2010. So naturally if you’re running for the Republican nomination for president you should oppose it.
However, Governor John Kasich of Ohio misrepresents his opposition to ObamaCare. Unlike most Republican governors, he chose to expand Medicaid in his state under the new provisions of ObamaCare – despite the opposition of his Republican-controlled legislature.
Michael Cannon, of the Cato Institute, points out the hypocrisy of Kasich’s recent declarations regarding ObamaCare in the presidential candidate debates. Kasich recently stated in the South Carolina debate, “Now, with Obamacare, I’ve not only sued the administration, I did not set up an exchange…I’m not pro-Obamacare. Never have been.”
But Cannon says Kasich supported the establishment of an exchange before the Ohio legislature blocked it. Furthermore, he says Kasich did not suit the Obama administration, as he claims, but rather the idea came from the attorney general. Cannon explains,
“Upon taking office in January 2011, Ohio attorney general Mike Dewine (R) “said his first action will be to join other state attorneys general challenging the new federal health care law“—that is, the multi-state constitutional challenge to the Affordable Care Act that came to be known as NFIB v. Sebelius. DeWine, who was independently elected by the voters rather than appointed by the governor, immediately joined that legal challenge on behalf of the State of Ohio.”
Furthermore, Cannon points out, the governor’s name does not appear anywhere in the briefs filed by the attorney general. He did not mention ObamaCare in his inaugural address nor when he laid out his healthcare agenda upon taking office.
Ohio Legislature Opposed Medicaid Expansion
But when the Ohio legislature opposed the expansion of Medicaid, Kasich ignored their opposition and implemented it anyway. Again, Cannon explains:
“The Supreme Court’s decision in NFIB v. Sebelius gave states the option of refusing to implement ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion. As chronicled by Jason Hart of OhioWatchdog.org, Ohio’s Republican legislature passed a bill that prohibited implementation. Kasich vetoed that bill, then implemented the expansion in spite of the legislature’s opposition.”
The expansion of Medicaid is raising the federal debt in every state that implemented the new ObamaCare provisions. Ohio is no exception. Cannon says some have estimated the Ohio impact on increasing the debt at $6 billion, so far. Enrollment has far exceeded expectations wherever states have chosen the expansion, contributing to the increased federal debt. That means every American is responsible for picking up the cost of Ohio’s Medicaid expansion.
As if this isn’t bad enough, Kasich then claims God told him to expand Medicaid and questions the compassion and spirituality of those who differ with him. But expanding the worst form of healthcare in this country and sticking future generations with the financial burden of this foolish decision, does not strike me as wisdom from God.
Governor Kasich may think he is doing the right thing but good intentions do not excuse bad decisions, especially when they violate the will of the people he represents. Republicans should remember this when they choose their presidential candidate.