John Kasich spent six of the eight years he was governor of Ohio promoting Obamacare, and in his new job as a CNN political analyst he’s taken the show back on the road.
On March 21, Kasich went to Washington to chat with American University president Sylvia Burwell — formerly President Obama’s Department of Health & Human Services secretary — at an event where he was celebrated as AU’s “Wonk of the Year.”
Kasich bragged to the AU audience that he and Burwell saved Obamacare from being repealed. “You know how Sylvia and I stopped the repeal of Obamacare? Not with politicians, it was the people,” Kasich said.
Whether Kasich’s left-wing attacks on congressional Republicans had much impact on bungling attempts to roll back Obamacare in 2017 is debatable. It isn’t debatable that Kasich opposed Obamacare repeal long before admitting so, as conservatives said he would when he opted in to the law’s expansion of Medicaid to able-bodied, working-age, childless adults in 2013.
Despite claiming he opposed Obamacare during his 2016 presidential campaign, Kasich talked up Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion at stops in Iowa, New Hampshire, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, South Dakota, and Idaho. Kasich toured the country bashing opponents of Medicaid expansion to defend his own reputation as a fiscal conservative, and he used that reputation to help Democrat Governor Steve Bullock expand Medicaid in Montana.
A few days after accepting his AU Wonk of the Year award, Kasich was in North Carolina again, impugning the motives of state legislators who oppose Democrat Governor Roy Cooper’s push to expand Medicaid under Obamcare.
“I’m here to help get health care for poor people, this should not be a political issue,” Kasich said. “People who strenuously fight this, you find out what they’re talking about. Because a lot of it is: I don’t want to be caught in a primary.”
Kasich — who, as we just noted, said he was against Obamcare the last time he was running in a primary — also repeated his reprehensible warning that Medicaid expansion opponents will be damned for eternity.
At least post-2016 Kasich finally stopped lying about his support for Obamacare:
Here’s a thought: Instead of looking to take away health care from 20 million Americans, why not just fix the Affordable Care Act? I was proud to join a bipartisan group of governors to develop a blueprint to show how it can be done. https://t.co/4x3eScljrf
— John Kasich (@JohnKasich) March 27, 2019
Kasich’s bipartisan “blueprint” is, if you couldn’t have guessed, an Obamacare bailout.
The Affordable Care Act can be fixed, but you don't need to just rip coverage away from 20 million people. https://t.co/pGZA9odzfb
— John Kasich (@JohnKasich) March 28, 2019
In 2014, while Kasich was officially running for re-election and unofficially running for president, his press office got in a feud with the Associated Press when a reporter quoted Kasich saying Obamacare would not be repealed.
Kasich claimed to have been talking strictly about Medicaid expansion during the AP interview. Tripped up by his own absurd rhetoric, Kasich played the victim and reiterated his opposition to Obamacare.
“I don’t back Obamacare. I never have. I want it to be repealed,” Kasich told The Washington Post.
“From Day One, and up until today and into tomorrow, I do not support Obamacare,” Kasich told Politico. “I never have, and I believe it should be repealed.”
The AP got it wrong. Ohio said NO to the Obamacare exchange for a reason. As always, my position is that we need to repeal and replace.
— John Kasich (@JohnKasich) October 20, 2014
Spent my night talking to the NYT, WSJ & Politico. Why? Because the AP screwed up. Let me make my position simple. Repeal Obamacare.
— John Kasich (@JohnKasich) October 21, 2014
Interestingly, the toughest grilling on his Obamacare flip-flop that Kasich has ever faced came from CNN’s Jake Tapper, who during a 2015 interview pressed Kasich to explain how he could implement Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion without supporting Obamacare. Kasich floundered… and never faced tough questioning about his embrace of Obamacare on CNN again.
What are the odds one of Kasich’s new coworkers at CNN will ask him to explain himself now?