In the last Republican Presidential Debate on Feb. 13, in South Carolina, Governor John Kasich (R-OH) and former Governor Jeb Bush (R-FL) attacked each other for helping the sick and the poor with healthcare by expanding Medicaid in each of their states.
The fact checking website Politifact checked Kasich’s statement that accused Bush of this horrendous action of expanding healthcare for the sick and the poor in the state of Florida during his “first four years as governor”, they found that Kasich’s statement was “Mostly True”.
“First of all, when Jeb was governor, his first four years as governor, he expand (sic) his Medicaid program grew twice as fast as mine. OK? It’s just a fact”, said Kasich.
Kasich’s attack was in response to Jeb Bush’s attack, saying that Kasich expanded Medicaid in Ohio and embraced “Obamacare”. The word “Obamacare” sends shivers down the spines of Republicans when its pointed out that they embraced it to their voter base. When Jeb Bush was Governor there was no Obamacare, but that did not stop him from expanding Florida’s Medicaid program to help the sick and the poor.
According to The Urban Institute report in 2002, Florida’s Medicaid budget did rise rapidly during Bush’s first term, largely due to more spending on long-term care. The report says that Florida had “a full-blown crisis” in nursing homes.
“Chronic staffing shortages led to an erosion in quality of care, which in turn led to lawsuits that resulted in extremely large awards for complainants and skyrocketing liability insurance rates for the industry,” the report said.
In 2013, Governor Kasich expanded Medicaid in Ohio over the objections of republican legislators in his state, and in the debate this past Saturday, he was asked how the “growth” in the “federal welfare program” fits with conservative ideals of “small government.”
“When we expand Medicaid and we treat the mentally ill, then they don’t live under a bridge or live in a prison, where they cost $22,500 a year.”
“When we take the drug addicted and we treat them in the prisons, we stop the revolving door of people in and out of prisons and we save $22,500 a year.”
“Guess what else? They get their lives back. And the working poor, they’re now getting health care. And you know that about a third of the people who are now getting that health care are people who are suffering very serious illnesses, particularly cancer,” said Kasich.
If you are asking yourself, how come two Presidential candidates are attacking each other for helping the sick and the poor with healthcare? Or how can helping the sick and the poor be seen as a bad thing by two Christians and their base of voters who are also mostly Christians? Then you’re most likely not a Republican.