Ohio Media Trackers
Governor John Kasich worked with the far-left Universal Health Care Action Network of Ohio (UHCAN Ohio) to build his case for Medicaid expansion, a central piece of President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Washington Post blogger Sarah Kliff detailed Kasich’s strategy in a February 6 Wonkblog entry.
“Rather than having to convince the governor, Obamacare supporters were asked to focus their efforts on convincing businesses and legislators,” Kliff explained in her story, which was titled, “How Ohio’s Republican governor sold the state on expanding Medicaid.”
While the Kasich administration publicly insisted no decision had been made, UHCAN Ohio Executive Director Cathy Levine “was in regular contact with the governors’ [sic] office, sharing different budget assumptions, as to ensure they would all land near the same place.”
“The administration was totally transparent about how they were developing their numbers and analysis,” Levine told Kliff. “We went back and forth so we could try to close those differences. They worked very hard on their end on an honest analysis of those numbers.”
It turns out those numbers are built on faith in federal bureaucracy. According to UHCAN Ohio – and, as of February 4, Governor Kasich – a massive expansion of one of the nation’s most costly entitlement programs will mean healthier Ohioans and an improved state economy.
Wonkblog and other liberal outlets have suggested Medicaid expansion in Ohio is now a foregone conclusion, but Kasich must convince the state legislature to join in his embrace of socialized medicine.
PPACA promises that a federal government already $16.4 trillion in debt will pay for 100 percent of states’ Medicaid expansion costs for several years before tapering federal funding down to 90 percent. Medicaid itself “saves” money by paying care providers far less than private insurance does, and PPACA is written to build on this shell game with an assortment of penalties for hospitals that reject Medicaid patients.
Expanding Medicaid would distort Ohio’s health care market further than existing federal subsidies and mandates already do. Rather than face this politically difficult truth, Governor Kasich reached out to a socialized medicine lobbying group for help selling a key portion of a law 66 percent of Ohio voters chose to block in November 2011.