When it comes to John Kasich and Ted Strickland, the list of similarities pretty much ends at “governed Ohio.” Most would agree on that.
Still every now and again someone makes a ridiculous argument, the latest being this one.
The argument is essentially this: Kasich’s proposal to receive federal funding by expanding Medicaid “mirrors” Strickland’s wish to accept federal funding to build a high-speed rail system.
The problem is, Medicaid, unlike Strickland’s now trashed high-speed rail plan, is a program each state is federally required to provide. Without expanding Medicaid and accepting federal funding, the cost of uncompensated care to hospitals will lead premiums to rise as much as 1.7 percent, according to Americans For Prosperity.
That might not sound like all that much until you crunch the numbers.
The average family premium is more than $14,000 per year. If there were only 500,000 family health plans in Ohio (likely more than that with a state population of over 11 million) premiums would rise $121.8 million more per year for private sector health insurance paid for by workers and employers.
The Ohio Chamber of Commerce cites the increase in health insurance premium costs as its reason for backing Kasich’s proposed Medicaid expansion.
On the other hand, Kasich’s decision not to accept funding for high-speed rail didn’t cost Ohio a dime. In fact, turning it down saved the state some money. Yes, Ohio tax dollars paid to the federal government went to other states, but there was zero additional loss to turning down high-speed rail like there would be without a Medicaid expansion.
There are plenty of opinions, but no matter what your thoughts are on the proposed Medicaid expansion, the fact is it isn’t comparable whatsoever to Strickland’s slow-speed rail fiasco.