Political Animal


February 04, 2013 3:59 PM Kasich Gives Away the Game

By Ed Kilgore

Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s decision to go along with the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion in his state may or may not affect the handful of Republican governors who are on the fence about this issues. But it will certainly make the arguments of nay-sayers harder.

Kasich’s whole political stock in trade is being the ultimate conservative green eyeshade, chairing the House Budget Committee during the Gingrich years and serving as an inspiration to young would-be scalpel-wielders like Paul Ryan. So when Kasich adjudges the Medicaid expansion as a good fiscal deal for Ohio (as it is for all states), it will be difficult for other GOP governors—even those like Rich Scott who have been willing to just make numbers up—to claim otherwise.

Thus Kasich brings us closer to the day when those opposing the Medicaid expansion in their own states—notably southern governors like Perry and Jindal and Bryant and Bentley and Deal and Haley who are deliberately creating huge arbitrary gaps in health care coverage—are forced to stop hiding behind fiscal myths and just come out and admit they don’t want their citizens to benefit from Obamacare, full stop. They’d oppose the Medicaid expansion even if the feds were paying them many billions to implement it (instead of just picking up nearly all of the cost and generating additional savings for the states via lower uncompensated care costs). It would be nice to see them admit it, shameful as it might be.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • c u n d gulag on February 04, 2013 4:35 PM:

    Don't worry, those devious bastards will try to find ways to undermine it as much as possible, while grudgingly accepting it.

    They HAVE to.

    If "Obamacare" is successful, and well liked, then that's just another brick in the wall behind them, in their political self-executions.

  • fry1laurie on February 04, 2013 4:56 PM:

    Ka-sick is also up for reelection in 2014, and is in deep doodoo with the state for his anti-union bill that the voters later repealed. This is just a makeup to get back some good will, then if reelected he will be just as bad as he was (is).

  • MuddyLee on February 04, 2013 5:00 PM:

    Haley - Haley - Haley. Thanks again Sarah Palin and your ignorant disciples in South Carolina. Why would anybody oppose more health care for the poor in a state like SC? When the feds are picking up the bill? Do you really think expanding Medicaid gives the poor an incentive to go out and get sick? Or do you want hospital emergency rooms to be overrun with indigent cases?

  • T2 on February 04, 2013 5:26 PM:

    Nuts like Rick "can't count to three" Perry see refusing Obamacare as much about stopping abortion as anything.....in other words, there is a thread of Crazy in this as much as it is just stopping anything Obama does.