Photo by Gage Skidmore, via Flickr

September 23, 2017 Sam Valk 2Comment

The Ohio Governor is not going quietly into the night.

This week, Republican Senators Bill Cassidy (LA) and Lindsey Graham (SC) introduced one final attempt to try and repeal Obamacare. President Trump supports the measure and has been defending it since its introduction just days ago. Since then, progressive Democrats like Richard Blumenthal (CT) have responded as they have with every repeal attempt; “This was one of the most cruel acts in history,” decried the Senator — his support for late term and partial birth abortion apparently not included. Jimmy Kimmel has gone on multiple rants recently about his own personal desire to force universal healthcare upon us all, with much criticism from many on the right, including Cassidy himself. However, Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) probably takes the cake for people who do not seem to understand the bill, but rather wants to oppose it to regain national attention after his horrible failure of a presidential campaign. He stated that “Republicans just don’t get it” and “this will hurt our most vulnerable.”

The bill that Kasich does not seem to understand would not hurt anybody, at least by a conservative standard. It is not the most free market solution to the problem. However, the bill repeals numerous taxes and regulations. It allows states to receive block grants to enact whatever healthcare they deem best for their people. Say California wants a single payer system, they can fund it with the federal block grants provided by the bill. Finally, the bill repeals the employer and individual healthcare mandates, which have burdened small businesses and people since its implementation. The bill does not allow people to buy insurance across state lines, a necessity for our market. However, Senator Rand Paul (R) of Kasich’s neighboring Kentucky has stated he is trying to work with Trump to interrupt and repeal a 1974 law that prohibited buying across state lines. In essence, the Graham-Cassidy bill is far from perfect, but it is at least a start towards the repeal of Obamacare.

So why does Kasich, a man who claimed to be a conservative against much of Obamacare, seem so hell-bent on stopping it from being repealed? Well, part of that is probably because Kasich accepted the Medicaid expansion, something that made him locally popular among many. Every single repeal bill thus far has included some form of halting of the expansion within a certain number of years. They would not cut the Medicaid expansions outright, just stop adding onto the expansion in a few years and eventually weaning the states off of it. Most conservatives support cutting some of these services along with regulations to allow a freer market solution to thrive. Kasich, however, has not supported that since Trump’s election.

This bill particularly contains measures that protect State’s rights of healthcare. This would conceivably allow every State to craft their own health plan that works best for them, aided by block grants from the federal government. If Kasich were staying true to his stated principles, he would at least recognize the bill as a start to stopping what Obamacare has forced upon people’s lives. He could craft a State Medicaid initiative with the program for Ohio so he does not have to rely on the federal government. However, he does not seem to be interested in doing that and seems to want the federal government to do his work for him.

“With his time as governor limited, Kasich is trying to regain a place on the national stage.”

Kasich seems incapable of being on the national stage without trashing Republican efforts, especially when those efforts are favorable towards Donald Trump and his presidency. Kasich was for repealing the mandates by any means necessary during his tenure as governor of Ohio. He was, that is, until Donald Trump won in November. Since then, he has opposed every measure to try and start to repeal Obamacare that Republicans have released. With much animus towards Trump from the vicious primary and general election, Kasich seems clouded in his judgement of controversial bills coming out of congress because he knows that Trump must sign them. Kasich knows he is a thorn in the side of Trump, being very popular in Ohio still.

When Trump announced he was repealing the Executive Order for DACA, Kasich almost immediately released a statement declaring Trump’s decision awful, and stated DREAMER’s would be allowed in Ohio. He seems to have missed Trump’s support for DACA being enacted into law for those non criminal DREAMER’s already here. Kasich also blindly chastised Trump for withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement. Kasich was previously against the agreement and supported deregulating the climate market. However, since Trump was the one to withdraw, he opposed it no matter what he claimed to believe.

With his time as governor limited, Kasich is trying to regain a place on the national stage. He does not want to leave the stage because the moment he does, he will be remembered as the guy who hung on too long in the 2016 primary. Opposing Trump gets Kasich attention due to his being governor of Ohio, a perennial swing state that helped give Trump his win. Just a few weeks ago, Kasich received attention once again for being a possible independent or primary challenge to Trump in 2020 with Colorado Governor and Democrat, John Hickenlooper. Kasich denied he and Hickenlooper were running as a ticket in 2020, however he has yet to categorically rule out a run.

Kasich seems to be planning something for his short term future after 2018. If he ran for president in 2020, I would not be surprised. He is trying to do anything he can to oppose Trump, much more than any other governor in the United States, save for possibly Jerry Brown (D-CA). From his criticism of the current Obamacare repeal bill to complaining at Trump for withdrawing from the Paris Accord, Kasich seems to have abandoned principle. Whatever policies he supported before fly out the window the moment Trump supports the same policy. This sets him up to oppose Trump in 2020 on major issues. The man whom I was so proud to vote for my first time voting in his landslide 2014 victory has become part of the opposition partly due to personal animus. John Kasich will not go away from the national stage and will not stop spearheading the opposition for the sake of being in opposition. So long as he feels he has support from the center, he will continue to try and get his voice heard throughout the country instead of focusing on Ohio.

Follow this author on Twitter: @SamDemands

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  • TZ

    Another nonsense article without reason or logic.

    1. Legal abortion is irrelevant to the topic of how care is delivered – trying tie the two is a nonsense right winger trick to distract. It is at least arguable that taking health insurance coverage away from someone in need is indeed cruel.
    2. Jimmy Kimmel is not forcing universal healthcare on anyone. He never said anything of the sort. No one is. What is happening is that there is a movement to democratically vote for a universal healthcare system. The author apparently does not believe in democracy and wants minority rule. And when he doesn’t get it whines about being forced. You can always leave and immigrate to a country without universal healthcare, good luck with that pal. No one is forcing you to stay if you dislike the result of elections.
    3. No evidence that Kasich doesn’t understand the bill. In fact, the author seems to be the ignorant one in this debate. And Kasich doesn’t need to oppose repeal and replace to get national attention. All he has to do is call Trump a SOB on camera (now that that phrase has been accepted as acceptable political dialogue). The TV news will run the clip over and over.
    4.”would not hurt anybody, at least by a conservative standard”. What can one say about this statement? Sums up conservative thinking nicely. Translation: It doesn’t hurt people unless it hurts me and mine. Only a true SOB would use this to support their argument.
    5. And much like unicorns, there is no free market outside of childish minds. In health insurance, healthcare or any other market. Read an economics book.
    “In economics, a free market is a system in which the prices for goods and services are determined by the open market and consumers, in which the laws and forces of supply and demand are free from any intervention by a government, price-setting monopoly, or other authority.”
    And if there were such a thing free markets, capitalists would immediately use all legal and illegal means to capture the market. Truly Free Markets would drive wages and competition and eventually destroy the international system of oligarchy that is currently the operating system.
    6.There is no prohibition against selling across state lines. If an Kentucky insurer wants to sell in Ohio, they can, as long as they meet Ohio’s standards. It is called the people of Oho passing laws as they see fit to protect against con artists. What conservatives really are saying is they want to be able to sell “street insurance” again. Cheap policies that offer little or no benefits.
    7.How do you “blindly chastise” someone? Is this Hyperbole? Or just hateful speech with no basis.
    8. “the guy who hung on too long in the 2016 primary”? I guess the author would have preferred everyone just bow, kiss the ring, and step aside and not delay the cornation. What an asinine comment! It is clear you are not a conservative you are anti-democratic.
    9. “So long as he feels he has support from the center, he will continue to try and get his voice heard throughout the country instead of focusing on Ohio.” Isn’t this just you projecting your own wishes? You cited an article showing Kasich’s relative popularity and approval rate,
    10. Are you a troll working for the Russians? Or just a fool? Cuz you ain’t making a lick of sense unless you are trying to undermine our democracy by publishing propaganda.

  • TZ

    I am beginning to believe this website is funded by the Russians.