When Kasich really wants something, he’s willing to put all of his resources and staff behind it, and he is willing to play rough in order to achieve his goal.   But with Medicaid expansion, Kasich appears to have completely given up.  And it makes us wonder if he was ever really serious about it from the beginning.

When the union-busting provisions in Senate Bill 5 were under attack, Kasich’s chief-of-staff and multiple other members of his office took a leave of absence to help fight for the bill.

When John Kasich wanted to wrestle control of the Ohio Republican Party away from Kevin DeWine, Team Kasich kicked into high gear.  Kasich’s friend Doug Preisse set up an oust-DeWine HQ with the help of Kasich staffers.  Kasich’s regional liaisons went out and collected signatures for committee candidates.  Jai Chabria and others went out and twisted arms, made threats and promised “influence” in order to swing the necessary votes.   Kasich’s campaign made ads supporting candidates who would vote the way he wanted.   And at least one person who refused to join Kasich lost her job as a result.

But a day after House Republicans pulled Medicaid expansion from his budget, Kasich has effectively thrown up his hands in defeat.

“This is a time where the legislature has to work things out themselves,” Kasich told the Toledo Blade.  “I’m not a mechanic, I’m the governor”

Even worse, the Governor has dismissed attempts by Democratic State Reps Carney and Antonio to create a separate, stand-alone bill for the Medicaid expansion.

According to House Speaker Batchelder, 20 of his Republican members were willing to support Medicaid expansion.   With support from the 39 Democrats in the House, this would be more than enough to pass the bill.

“If there’s a separate deal, what do you get? Thirty-nine votes? That doesn’t get you to 50,” said Kasich.

If Kasich was serious about getting Medicaid passed, he wouldn’t be dismissing Democrats attempts to save his plan.  Instead he’d put his team into action to secure the votes of Republican legislators and to get it to the floor for a vote.

If he was serious, Kasich would have Chabria and Carle and Luketic out there busting heads and counting votes.

“I couldn’t give any more speeches [on Medicaid]” Kasich told the Blade.

But Kasich knows: Pretty speeches discussing the religious merits of Medicaid expansion make for good sound bites, but they don’t get bills passed.

That takes hard work and a dedicated team working behind the scenes to secure votes – and there’s no indication that Kasich’s team is mobilizing for that effort.

Instead, it looks like Kasich is hoping to get credit for introducing the idea of Medicaid expansion, hoping he can win over some voters who may consider him more moderate now, without having to deal with the political backlash from the extremists in his own party should the Medicaid expansion actually pass.


  • He’a a phony and PR hound…Joesph, why don’t the PD and CD see his lack of effort (as you detail here) to secure the expansion and get after him for his half-hearted lip service?

  • Putting Medicaid expansion into his biennial budget was a strategic move by Kasich and the GOP to confuse Ohio voters. This strategy has been used throughout history- cause confusion by doing something unusual, strange, or unexpected to distract your adversaries.
    Don’t be confused into thinking Kasich is a moderate. He’s as far out there as those other extremists in the Republican Party.

  • Clecinosu

    “I’m not a mechanic, I’m the governor.”

    I still haven’t seen any evidence of the latter.


    The Good. Book.aptly states :”Faith without works is dead.”

  • dmoore2222

    He’s a fraud and most everyone has figured it out.

  • Eugene

    The conservatives for 4 years led the Republicans to believe they would win the last Presidential election. And they stagnated our country and government for the four years waiting for the presidential election.
    It took a couple of months to wear our Bengazi as a topic until the conservatives suddenly realized to win elections the Republicans need more votes and to get the power they want, they need to go after all the voters they despised, rejected and mocked.
    So now the conservatives suddenly love the poor, homeless, unemployed , immigrants and other members of society they hated before they lost the election .
    Even though the conservatives made it clear before the election that they hated union and union members because they are paid too much and use union money to influence elections, the fireman, policeman, safety workers, public workers and other union members voted for republican governors. It took the governors to try to eliminate collective bargaining for everyone to wake up. Yet we haven’t learned our lesson because a while ago, a poll said Kasich’s favorable rating was higher.
    It was announced on the early morning news last week, that the republicans were going to vote against the Medicare plan after Kasich announced he would accept it. The conservatives and Republicans are playing the public for fools. They are so – hard core, that they believe that even though Portman’s son announced he was gay, Portman should not change his position on the gay issue no matter what.
    Kasich and his republican friends may be working together for him to appear for the Medicare plan to raise his favorability with the public and the republican party vote against it, thereby making him look like a governor who cares for everyone to gain points for his next run for governor which he and they want, because he has too much competition to run for President this next time.

  • Retrofuturistic

    When a political party campaigns on jobs, and as soon as they’re elected they start a War on Women instead, why would anyone assume that what they say could be trusted? It should be evident by now that Kasich, a founding member of ALEC, serves his corporate masters and not the people of Ohio. It should also be evident that any member of the Christian GOP is not above Dirty Tricks. Didn’t they already participate in fraudulent elections, lie us into two wars, and deregulate us into a collapse of the world economy? Yet still, all they have to do is invoke Jesus, and people believe whatever they say about anything. Amazing.

  • Retrofuturistic

    I know. Personally, I don’t understand why people aren’t in the streets demanding a Recall Provision….

  • dmoore2222

    I woulnd’t put too much on that poll. Look what happened in the presidentioal polling that lead republicans to believe Ken Doll Romney would win. What will really matter is if the public workers, school district employees, and citizens who got stiffed by the Kasich budgets show up in November. If that happens, it won’t even be close.

  • If the folks at Plunderbund sincerely cared about Medicaid expansion, then they would loudly praise Governor Kasich for standing up to the Tea Party on this issue. His stand takes courage, a rarity in politics. If I (the brother and uncle of Ohio teachers) can put aside past differences and praise Kasich for Medicaid expansion, there is no excuse for Plunderbund on this. Shame on Plunderbund. Medicaid expansion is too important for Plunderbund’s partisan posturing.

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