Nearly identical to previous pronouncements by John Kasich, his latest piece in the NYT, “The Way Forward on Health Care,” is mostly made from political gobbledygook, a word with synonyms that include gibberish, claptrap, nonsense, rubbish, balderdash, blather, and garbage.
Kasich will wander off the political radar screen when he leaves office at the end of next year, but until then, he’s all-in on giving “states the flexibility to innovate and manage” in order to avoid a “serious blow to states’ fiscal health at a time when most – Ohio included – are feeling headwinds from a softening national economy.” Ohio’s 69th governor knows about fiscal health all too well, in light of his final budget being a billion or more out of balance, and surrounded by lawmakers who used only cuts to cure the deficit.
Kasich has used the headwinds-from-Washington ruse on previous occasions to camouflage his poor performance in creating the quantity and quality of jobs Ohioans are still waiting to recover to refill inventory from large job losses in 2000 and 2007. With 54 straight months of under performing the nation job creation average as his record, Kasich refuses to look to his own policies and programs – which include but are not limited to massive tax cuts for the rich and stealing funds from local governments and schools – as the source of Ohio’s problems over President Barack Obama’s two-terms, that for many other states brought strong job growth.
Even though he’s traveled to Germany and England, Kasich appears to know little about why all the other advanced, industrialized countries of the world, when they confronted health care for their citizens, didn’t pick the American system.
But he uttered more gibberish, saying the Senate plan “failed to repair Obamacare’s damage to the insurance markets.” Curiously, for someone who signed Grover Norquist’s no new taxes pledge and incessantly looks to cut income taxes for Ohio’s wealthiest, Kasich used more balderdash to explain that insufficient tax credits “would make coverage unaffordable for many lower income Americans,” hundreds of thousands of whom live in Ohio, where the median household income at $49,429 has fallen thousands below the national median income of $55,775, ranking Ohio 35th.
For the benefit of the governor and others who share his fiscal conservative mindset, tax credits for the poor are funded by income taxes on the wealthy. The two-term governor who likes to dispense bitter medicine to those who least deserve it, when it suits his politics and personality, is all for cost-sharing from people poor enough that they qualify for Medicaid, the federal-state safety net that most benefits children, women, the elderly, disabled and mentally ill.
Kasich pretends to not know that insurance markets are really controlled by for-profit insurance companies, not Washington bureaucrats or the onerous demands of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Profits by these profit-making corporations are the real drivers behind higher insurance premiums and/or decisions to abandon a single county or an entire state because they aren’t returning enough value to their shareholders.
The former Lehman Brothers banker and Fox News talk show host goes long to carp on Obamacare insurance exchanges. He and and co-pilot, Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, had a chance to run Ohio’s insurance exchange, following the Supreme Courts ruling that the ACA, and the individual mandate it contained, is constitutional, but ran from the responsibility, which forced Washington to do it.
Now Kasich wants to fix “Obamacare exchanges before it takes on Medicaid.” Where was the great reform and innovator five years ago when he could have been a leader, showing how smart he is on the topic President Donald Trump has said “is so complicated?
Kasich, desperately seeking to keep his voice and profile prominent after he leaves elected office, says Ohio and other states are “willing to assume greater financial risk by transitioning to a block grant or per-capita cap.”
Ohio’s senior U.S. senator in Washington, Sherrod Brown, told reporters on Wednesday that block grants or per-capita caps, strategies Kasich endorses, is just “another way to squeeze Medicaid.”
Kasich ends his claptrap op-ed by declaring that the “best next step is for members of both parties to ignore the fear of criticism that can come from reaching across the aisle and put pencil to pad on these and other ideas that repair health care in real, sustainable ways.”
If Kasich had any real record to point to on reaching across the aisle in Columbus, where he’s ruled as an authoritarian when he can, his call for bi-partisanship on the ACA might not be the gibberish it is.
The boy from McKees Rock, Pennsylvania, has many fatal flaws, but high among them is his support to repealing Obamacare, as he’s told his fan base. Voicing more nonsense, though, Kasich want to replace it “with meaningful reforms that ensure we’re not leaving our most vulnerable citizens behind.”
Kasich has become a political darling to some Democrats and national TV talk shows for his one-trick pony defense of Medicaid and its expansion to those earning 138 percent of the federal poverty level.
In Ohio, 2.9 million Ohioans are at risk from Republican health care reforms, with 151,000 or more potentially losing access to substance abuse treatment. More analysis of the GOP bills in Congress shows that insurance companies could charge as much as five times more for people over 50 while still letting insurance carriers to deny coverage for routine doctor’s visits, cancer screenings, and substance use disorder treatments. In practical, every-day terms, Ohioans could pay an average of $1,380 more for the same coverage they have now under the ACA.
And what about Planned Parenthood? Kasich is exceptionally quiet on this issue, given how bad his administration has been for lady Buckeyes over the years. The bills in Congress would defund Planned Parenthood, which 2.4 million Americans – including more than 81,000 in Ohio – depend on for care. Kasich told audiences on his losing presidential campaign last year that he thinks Planned Parenthood sells aborted baby parts. That goes beyond gobbledygook to garbage.
Obamacare, the nation’s health care law as it’s come to be called, is the conservative Republican plan, dreamed up by the Heritage Foundation, a Washington incubator for programs and policies that sooth Kasich’s soul. As health care expert Steven Brill notes, the ACA is the Republican plan, which explains why they have no other workable alternative.
If Kasich ready to accept any suggestions from Democrats, as he repeatedly claims he is, that would lead to a public option or Medicare for all? The rest of the world is already there, but it seems Kasich is full of Gobbledygook – and all its unflattering synonyms – when it comes to the way forward on health care.