have been arguing for quite a while that Medicaid expansion is the only
fiscally responsible path forward. Now their argument has been endorsed
by Kasich, who has impeccable conservative credentials, since he is a
former chairman of the House Budget Committee and a former Fox News
analyst. Kasich built his political identity arguing for smaller
government; now he finds himself at odds with the same conservatives who
propelled him to victory in Ohio.
issue for Kasich and others in his position is pretty straightforward:
Do they choose ideology or reality? For much of the right, the only
thing that matters is fighting against “Obamacare.” Whether it makes
sense from a policy perspective is irrelevant. The goal is to preserve
the integrity of a far-right conservative philosophy that seems to be
entirely detached from practical considerations.
For governors, it’s not as easy to ignore the substance. Unlike right-wing activists, governors actually have responsibilities.
speaker at the “Expand Medicaid” rally at the state Capitol last month
used a simple analogy that really made sense to me. He said, “If someone
told me that they were going to buy me a steak dinner for three nights,
but on the fourth I would have to buy my own if I wanted one, I think I
would be a fool to turn down those three steak dinners.” Perhaps the
Republicans actually are concerned that creating healthier children,
seniors and working people will be so cost-effective that they won’t be
able to stop participating.
conservative states of Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and North Dakota and
their Republican governors have also decided to take the practical
approach and expand Medicaid. I think these governors realize that they
actually have responsibilities to their constituents, and I applaud them
for putting people before politics. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our
governor would have the courage to do the same?
—Jo Davis, Shawnee