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Kasich: Medicaid/Obamacare Not A ‘Welfare System’

By  Robert Kraychik

“This is not some kind of a welfare system,” said Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) of federal programs such as Medicaid and The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). “Look, if you’re sick and you’re hungry, you don’t work.”

Kasich joined CNN’s Dana Bash in a Sunday-aired interview on State of the Union.

The Republican “health care bill” (H.R. 1628) before the Senate does not sufficiently empower the federal government, said Kasich:

The total number of dollars that are gonna be dedicated to Medicaid [is] not enough. It’s not enough resources there. … The resources are just not there. …

I’m worried about poor people. Both parties ought to be worried about poor people because I don’t think either party particularly cares about helping poor people.

Kasich presented mentally and physically handicapped youth as vulnerable to reductions in state-redistributed funds he alleged would be reduced by H.R. 1628:

I was at a restaurant on Friday. I was at a Wendy’s, actually. There was a partition, and I looked over at the people that had gathered there, and there were about, I don’t know, 25 kids? All of them were here in Columbus for Special Olympics. And I looked at ’em, and I thought: “Are these people being served? Are they going to be served by this bill in the future?” My conclusion right now is no.

Kasich called for reducing the costs of health care and insurance while simultaneously calling for more state controls over both interrelated industries.

Presenting himself as beyond partisanship and a brave political leader, Kasich pushed a line similar to left-wing ABC pundit Matthew Dowd‘s Country Over Party:

Maybe this is a signal that instead of people just confessing their loyalty to one party or the other, maybe they ought to be confessing their loyalty to the country. I’ve been attacked all of my career, and the fact is that you gotta stand on your own two feet, explain how you feel about things, and be a leader. I don’t think we have enough leadership. I think there are too many people that cower in the wings because of partisanship.

ABC’s Matthew Dowd’s Twitter banner.

Speaking with Jake Tapper in May, Kasich presented himself as uninterested in politics, pointing to the horizon of his gubernatorial tenure:

Look, I’m out as governor in 18 months, OK? I’m sure there’s some people out there that will applaud that. So, this really didn’t affect my operation directly, except for maybe these cuts, which I’m not sure what they are.

But I’m worried about the future, and I’m worried about these people who are really vulnerable. …

Bringing politics into this discussion is not something I have any interest in, because I’m more concerned about how the policy affects real people. That’s what I care about.

Too much thinking about politics in Washington. Why don’t we just get to it? Let’s reform the system.

Following his failed presidential run in 2016, Kasich is claiming he’s uninterested in continuing a political career.

Last April saw the publication of Kasich’s latest book, Two Paths: America Divided or United.

Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter.

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