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02.08.12 - Gov. Kasich gives his 2nd State of the State speech in Steubenville at Wells Academy
Ohio Gov. John Kasich
Ohio's Gov. John Kasich has broken ranks with most of his fellow hard-core Republican governors, and decided to cave into reality and accept the Medicaid expansion funds offered in the Affordable Care Act.
“I, as all of you know, am not a supporter of Obamacare,” Kasich said at a Monday press conference. “But I think this makes great sense for the state of Ohio.”

Kasich says the decision will free up money to spend on mental health and other services — since the feds will pay for most of the expansion costs — and will keep everyone else’s health insurance premiums down because there won’t be so many uninsured people going to emergency rooms for their medical care.

"Betrayal!" howls the conservative base.
“I think it’s definitely going to weaken him with the conservative base,” said Chris Littleton, the Ohio director for American Majority Action. “It’s not a good idea to expand your number-one budget item in the middle of this kind of instability. The conservative grassroots and average voters are not going to support this in any way, shape or form.”
On the other hand, all of the non-crazy people in Ohio, including the business community and the hospital associations and the medical provider groups, are celebrating this lapse into sanity by their governor. It means that hospitals will be providing less uncompensated care; more jobs in health care; community and rural hospitals will be able to stay open. Then there's the fact that something like 275,000 uninsured people will now be covered. The state's calculus is that the state will receive about $13 billion over the next seven years from the federal government, and in the next two years, the state will save $235 million.

It's an economically smart choice that we might see from more Republican governors who aren't looking at a possible run for the White House in 2016.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 12:17 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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