Ohio Gov. John Kasich is the darling of national media because they see him as a Republican governor who dared break ranks to accept expanded Medicaid made possible by President Barack Obama.
By defending it now as his GOP buddies try to kill or cripple it, coastal reporters drunk from the intoxicating effects of today’s hyper-politicized environment see Kasich is a rare duck, not caring that back home he’s a lame-duck leader that GOP and Democratic candidates who want to replace him are taking whacks at.
Crying the blues as he does these days about what will happen to millions of Ohioans if Washington Republicans in Congress do what they promised to do last year if elected, repeal and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), Kasich cannot not shed about expanded Medicaid going away and not shed another tear to lament the loss of another, equally popular and helpful program, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), that his party allowed to expire.
Washington Republicans are hoping to extend financing for CHIP, but as the AP reports, “partisan divisions over how to pay for it suggest that congressional approval will take time despite growing pressure on lawmakers to act,”
The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides health coverage to eligible children, through both Medicaid and separate CHIP programs. CHIP is administered by states, according to federal requirements. The program is funded jointly by states and the federal government.
When Kasich ran for president last year, getting crucified by Donald Trump in the process, he did his best to denigrate the Democrat nominee for president, Hillary Rodham Clinton. A former Fox News political talk show host, Kasich may not know that it was that same Hillary Rodham Clinton who was credited with being the driving force behind CHIP. It is among her signature efforts that has helped so many children, including children in Ohio, whose parents Kasich has done such a poor job of providing good-paying jobs and benefits for.
As reported by Politico, Kasich “flatly ruled out voting for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.” Ever the political tease, Kasich never flatly ruled out voting for Donald Trump in 106, even though he and the other Republicans competing with Trump raised their hands, on stage in Cleveland at the first GOP debate held in August of 2015, and promised to support the Republican nominee.
Re-financing a program that covers 8.9 million low-income children, as CHIP does, is still at sea in DC. The GOP plans to pay for CHIP by cutting a public health fund established under former President Barack Obama’s health care law, “making it harder for people buying individual health coverage to avoid paying premiums.” Raising Medicare premiums on seniors earning more than $500,000 annually and making it harder for lottery winners to qualify for Medicaid are two other ideas Republicans propose to pay for it that Democrats oppose.
No states are expected to immediately run out of funds to cover children because they can continue using unspent money, the AP reports, noting that “some (states) are projected to deplete their money before year’s end and are poised to take early steps like notifying beneficiaries that the program might be curtailed.”
Renewing CHIP is expected to cost $120 billion over the next five years, with less than half that amount expected to be spent, in light of congressional budget rules. Kasich might want to know that by the end of next March, more than half of the states, and maybe Ohio, will have spent their funds.
Wouldn’t it be refreshing for once, for Kasich to finally admit what he’s been too scared to admit before: that the first woman nominee for president, whose decades of work in government made her the most prepared and fitting candidate to assume the awesome duties of the presidency, should be given all due credit for a program that’s helped so many Buckeye kids, when compared to Kasich’s lame efforts to do the same?
In 2007, Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy told the Associated Press that Hillary Clinton played a critical role. “The children’s health program wouldn’t be in existence today if we didn’t have Hillary pushing for it from the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue,” Kennedy said, a claim verified by Politifact.
That’s right, governor, Hillary Rodham Clinton was the best candidate for the job last year. But your fealty to outdated ideas that your two terms in office has proven don’t work, blinded you to programs, and the people that actually created them, that do work.
Maybe former Vice President Joe Biden will remind you about CHIP’s history and the role Mrs. Clinton’s played in that history when the two of you appear together soon?