Third Party & Independents Archives

A Question for Governor Kasich

According to John Kasich’s friend Curt Steiner, Kasich is a solid GOP man but a “biological Democrat” meaning the son of a mailman was raised in a working class and Democrat environment. While Kasich has been in politics for the GOP most of his adult life and was already a state senator in Ohio at 26, he has always been a centrist, although he would likely label himself as a pragmatist. So, Ohio Governor Kasich’s getting into bed with Obamacare is nothing to be shocked about. Even if he says he is not in bed with Obamacare, or only part of it, and that the press completely misquoted him. This is of course about Medicaid, and the fact that Obamacare has made more people eligible for Medicaid and has increased federal funding for individual states. It would have made it mandatory for individual states to accept increased levels of funding and eligibility for Medicaid in order to continue to receive the cash from Washington D.C., but the Supreme Court, in a very mixed decision in the National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius that had the justices all over the place, gave the states the right to opt out of the increase and stay at pre-Obamacare levels of Medicaid.


Governor Kasich had no problems in Ohio with the expansion of Medicaid under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; he stated in an interview AP a few days ago that opposition to Obamacare was "political or ideological" and stated that "I don't think that holds water against real flesh and blood and real improvements in people's lives." Since that article a few days ago, Governor Kasich has beat a quick retreat sounding the bugle all over the net with tweets stating he supports repealing and replacing Obamacare. Whether this means Kasich is worried about his GOP credentials with a view to entering the presidential race in 2 years remains to be seen. What it does show is that his politics as Governor and as a member of Congress have not always been conservative, to state the obvious. His support of Clinton's Omnibus bill in 94, for example, earned him an F from the NRA for the bill's banning of certain types of firearms. Can Kasich undo the damage with conservatives and opponents of Obamacare? Perhaps. He is a popular governor in his home state and Ohio seems to support their native son. The policy lesson arising from this latest kerfuffle between Kasich and the press clearly is that some sort of alternative to Obamacare needs to be put forward by the GOP. That is happening of course with bills like the American Health Care Reform Act and the Empowering Patients First Act which do things like allowing patients to purchase health care plans across state lines and pool together to increase their buying power. That would mean less control of health care by state bureaucrats of course. Would Governor Kasich agree to those ideas? Ask him next year if he throws his hat into the presidential race.

Posted by AllardK at October 22, 2014 4:15 PM
Comments
Comment #384491

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Posted by: phx8 at October 22, 2014 5:47 PM
Comment #384493

“…which do things like allowing patients to purchase health care plans across state lines and pool together to increase their buying power.”

If Republicans really wanted this option, they would have supported the original Obamacare proposal for a national health insurance exchange. Instead, they forced individual state exchanges and options for states to opt out of the state exchange.

Why?

The first reason is simple. They wanted to limit the pooling power of a national exchange in order to cripple Obamacare. They also understood that implementation of 50 independent insurance markets with many states opting out would complicate implementation forcing the administration to run a hybrid system.

The other reason is that Obamacare established a minimum set of standards for health insurance based on Federal employee cafeteria health insurance options. Those standards would negate the primary reason for much of Republican support for “across state line” sales: the opportunity to reduce and eliminate regulatory standards. This is because “across state line” sales proposals of Republicans would establish the domicile state of the insurer as the applicable national standard for sales negating individual state insurance regulations. The result would be that insurers would flock to the states with the least restrictive insurance regulations.

Now, this would be fine for the young and healthy. Not so good for the post 40 crowd. Notice how each of the Republican “across state line” proposals are coupled with a requirement for state “high risk” pools to manage older and ill individuals and families. Great! Insurers get to insure young and healthy and the state the older and sick.

I doubt that the GOP is serious about an alternative to Obamacare, particularly their past proposals about “across state line” sales. For, when examined they would be a disaster for those most in need of insurance.

Pooling is an important element of insurance. But, that pooling can’t simply be across state lines but must also be across risk groups. We all age. We all eventually become sick. Paying more when we are young and healthy is a simple mechanism to assure that affordable insurance will be available when we inevitably age and the probability of sickness increases.


Posted by: Rich at October 22, 2014 7:56 PM
Comment #384496

Kasich might be a good bet for the GOP nominee in 2016. He looks like an easy win is in the making for his 2014 re-election. He could potentially carry OH for the GOP, which would be huge. He might make a better VP nominee than the head of the ticket.

His problems involve being a good governor, but poor ideologue. That helps him on the national stage, but makes it very difficult to come out of the primaries with the support of the far-right Republican base. Too many others would run to the right of him. It would be a replay of the Romney campaign: constantly trying to explain why using federal funds to provide health care for the poor in his state is actually a bad thing for everyone outside of Ohio. Romney had the money and backing of the establishment. Kasich has neither. Getting out of the primaries would be even more difficult because he lacks name recognition and the kind of connections and favors owed so important for a presidential candidate. In addition, Kasich has never faced the kind of opposition research that would be thrown at him in a presidential campaign. All those appearances as a FOX news analyst on Hannity could come back to haunt him.

Still, he makes a lot more sense as a nominee than most of the names currently being floated.

Thanks for the article, AllardK. He’s worth watching.

Posted by: phx8 at October 22, 2014 10:47 PM
Comment #384497

The bottom line is that Republicans aren’t going to repeal Obamacare since they have no viable alternative. Smart Republicans are maneuvering to avoid the inevitable “put up or shut up” issue on Obamacare. Amazing how Obamacare has dropped out of the Republican lexicon.

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