When a governor is caged by a political ideology that sees health care as a privilege instead of a right, and thinks market competition is the magic formula that makes unaffordable health care suddenly affordable, the caged songbird’s warble about losing billions in federal dollars may sound sweet, until it turns into an irritating and hypocritical song.
In the case of Ohio’s caged Republican governor and songbird, John Kasich, his warble is tone deaf to the plight of people caught in the crosshairs of a complex and complicated system poised to get worse as Republicans on Capitol Hill advance their plans to erase the Affordable Care Act, and the expansion of Medicaid in it. Like Trump on the trail, Gov. Kasich promised to also ax the ACA as part of his “Washington is obsolete” offensive.
It is offensive that America’s for-profit healthcare providers will suffer as will nearly one million Ohioans if the ACA is repealed as fast as President-elect Donald Trump wants, but with no replacement that actually makes sense. Not everyone lives with carpet, but everyone will have the rug pulled out from beneath them if Republicans march forward without reflecting on what healthcare was like before Obamacare became the law of the land.
Kasich the songbird sings about keeping the flow of federal cash to Ohio even though his political mindset is prisoner to a dysfunctional political agenda that would otherwise eliminate the very programs he’s singing to keep.
But partisan waffling is basic Kasich. His song of complaint these days includes asking questions that easily capture the minds of un-inquisitive media, even as he offers no solutions other than platitudes wrapped in dog-whistled fashion with faux religiosity.
“Let’s just say they [Congressional Republicans] just got rid of it, didn’t replace it with anything,” Kasich said, Politico reported. “What happens to the 700,000 [Ohioans] people? What happens to drug treatment? What happens to mental health counseling? What happens to these people who have very high cholesterol and are victims from a heart attack? What happens to them?”
With new majority Congressional Republicans chomping at the bite to repeal the Affordable Care Act, that fueled Donald Trump’s ascendancy to the Oval Office and give a new GOP majority ruling rights on Capitol Hill, John Kasich strangely finds himself backing Democratic President Barack Obama’s legacy program, and the tremendous progress it’s meant to upwards so many Ohioans still poor enough to qualify for the low-income federal-state program that mostly covered low-income children, pregnant women and the disabled, before Democratic action in 2010 made it the law of the land without a single vote from Republicans.
Kasich, the seasoned songbird, has been caged throughout his long and lucrative career as a professional performance politician who has crafted an image of perpetual reformer, even though his reforms have serviced the wealthy at the expense of the middle class and poor. Early on in his 18-year career in Washington, he voted for Ronald Reagan’s plan to save Social Security with higher taxes. But last year, on the campaign trail for president, he confessed when forced to that he wants to people to work longer for less as his fix for the most important social safety net program in the nation’s history meant backtracking on his vote decades ago.
Starring into the jaws of defeat Republicans will deliver to Ohio and other states who will lose “bigly” when the ACA [Obamacare] is repealed, reports say Mr. Kasich will go to Washington to argue to keep the cash coming—so he can reduce state spending by off-loading it to federal funds—even though he simultaneously wants Washington lawmakers to balance the federal budget with less spending.
The nut doesn’t fall far from the tree. A great example was all too clear in a statement made from John Kasich’s once-time staffer, Pat Tiberi, who followed in his bosses footsteps when Kasich quit Congress in 2000 to run for president. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a budget resolution that will lead to repealing Obamacare through the reconciliation process and replace the it with patient-centered reforms.
Congressman Tiberi, who’s leading the repeal charge, said, “Obamacare is riddled with broken promises and it is causing real pain for Americans across the country.” Mr. Tiberi, who’s name has been floated as a potential challenger to Sen. Sherrod Brown in 2018, said Republicans will be Democrats by pushing a bill through Congress without knowing what was in it. “That is why we must take a step-by-step approach to successfully transition to a patient-centered system that is better for all Americans and ensures they aren’t left empty-handed without coverage.”
As Ohio flounders under six years of Kasich razzle dazzle that has forced tens of thousands from the labor force because they can’t find enough jobs that pay enough to keep them off of public subsidies to make ends meet, he’s telling the world how bad things are to justify how stingy he’ll be in his final state budget.
The governor vowed to deliver a budget that’s structurally balanced — “I don’t care what it takes” — and to leave the state in sound fiscal shape as he faces term limits in January 2019.
“You don’t go from $8 billion in the hole to $2 billion in your rainy-day fund by being in a panic, but it means you look at every program and you make choices,” Kasich said, the AP reported. “You make choices and you keep things in perspective, in terms of what you’ve done to help people and the fact that we’re all in this together.”
But be assured, he intends to do more of what hasn’t worked, because the caged governor intends to sing his sad song no matter what. Reports on what really isn’t news, that Mr. Kasich will likely propose “more of expanding sales and other ‘consumption’ taxes, coupled with a reduction in state income taxes,” keep Kasich confident that he can continue his flim-flam show forward, knowing he won’t be held accountable for the many scandals and misdeeds.
“You know (how) they talk about lame duck? They never met me,” he said recently, the AP reported, about whether he has any juice left in him. Actually, everyone knows John Kasich, whether they’ve met him or not. Media poodles will keep his irrelevance relevant.