Tab for John Kasich's Obamacare expansion tops $6 billion

Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s Obamacare expansion passed another exciting milestone last month: $6 billion in new federal spending!

Can you believe how generous Kasich is with your money? He’s a regular Prince of Light and Hope.


Medicaid benefits for Ohio’s 650,000 Obamacare expansion enrollees cost $406 million in December. For context, that was more than the state’s higher education and criminal justice spending combined.

If you’re a fan of Obamacare, this represents a rip-roaring success. If you’re not,  I should clarify that we are, in fact, talking about the John Kasich who is running for president as a Republican.

Since January 2014, Kasich’s expansion of Medicaid to working-age adults with no kids and no disabilities has added 5% of Ohio’s population to the welfare rolls and has cost federal taxpayers $6.4 billion.

In 2013, before Kasich vetoed the Ohio General Assembly’s ban on Obamacare expansion and expanded Medicaid unilaterally, critics said costs and enrollment would be higher than expected.

Who was right?

Kasich projected enrollment would reach 447,000 in 2020. He underestimated costs for the first 18 months by $1.5 billion.

In a speech this week to the New Hampshire House of Representatives, Kasich boasted about saving lives by spending $14 billion to put more Ohioans on Medicaid… and then, seconds later, he bragged about slowing Ohio Medicaid spending growth.

Kasich’s $14 billion figure — the amount of “Ohio money” he says he’s “bringing back” — is an old estimate of Obamacare expansion costs through 2020. Based on actual spending, Kasich is understating costs by at least $10 billion.


Of course, there is no vault of “Ohio money” for Kasich to “bring back” to the state, just like there’s no vault of New Jersey money paying for Chris Christie’s Obamacare expansion. It’s all new federal spending.

Assuming Obamacare isn’t repealed under a Republican president, Ohio will be on the hook for 5% of the expansion’s benefit costs next year and 10% in 2020. Where’s that state match of $40 million+ per month going to come from?

By design, Obamacare expansion’s promised 90% federal match rate will make states prioritize welfare spending on childless, able-bodied, working-age adults over programs for the truly needy.

But maybe it’s silly to see Kasich’s Obamacare expansion as the worst policy implemented in Ohio in 30 years.

In the interest of fun and fairness, following are several counterarguments from Obamacare expansion supporters. See if you can guess who said each line: Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, or Martin O’Malley.

  1. “You’d have to have a heart of stone or a very hard heart not to understand the changes that have come that have been really positive”
  2. “We’ve got this money, and I haven’t heard one good reason why we shouldn’t take it. Frankly, it’s just either purely ideological or political.”
  3. “Medicaid expansion is no different than the current Medicaid program, and when people try to tie Medicaid to Obamacare, I don’t see the connection”
  4. “There really is not a legitimate argument against it”
  5. “I couldn’t conceive of a half a million people all of a sudden waking up one day and having no health care coverage as provided under this program”

Scroll down for the answers.




Ready for the answers?






Here we go:

  1. John Kasich
  2. John Kasich
  3. John Kasich
  4. John Kasich
  5. John Kasich

These quotes are only a sample of the condescending pro-Obamacare rhetoric Preacher Kasich’s Obamacare Roadshow has been hawking across the country since 2013.

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