…because it does.
“Citizens scare politicians,” I heard Governor John Kasich say to Nicole Wallace on her show Deadline: White House yesterday, just hours from today’s U.S. 2018 midterm elections.
Governor Kasich has led the Buckeye State since 2011, and his second and final term ends in January 2019. The Governor expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act in the State of Ohio, discussed in this insightful Washington Post article.
“I am my brothers’ and sisters’ keeper,” Kasich told Wallace.
The Governor asserted this in the context of the role of protecting his fellow citizens for health and well-being, for equal rights, civility, and a hope of bringing people together. His brand today is as a bipartisan member of the Republican Party, which in the current climate is a unique and brave form of political tightrope-walking.
His approach to expanding Medicaid as a Republican Governor was both compassionate and pragmatic. “Medicaid spending, the largest budget item in the seventh-most-populous state, was ballooning by an average of 9 percent each year” in Ohio, the Post profile on Kasich explained. “Kasich used his first week as governor to issue an executive order: All aspects of publicly funded health care would be controlled by the new Office of Health Transformation. It would streamline services, vaporize redundancies and confront the costly nursing-home industry. It would modernize Medicaid by extending coverage to more low-income Ohioans while slashing its growth. When the Supreme Court made Medicaid expansion optional, Kasich didn’t hesitate. He was in, and so was Ohio. This was billions that was either going to sit in Washington, he said, or come back to Ohio to fast-track his health reforms.”
Thus, Kasich used the opportunity to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act’s provisions to both provide health care to Ohioans who needed it, as well as to benefit the state’s ailing budget
He told Wallace that he had early-voted. When she asked him whether he voted a straight Republican ticket, Kasich replied, “No….I voted for people who want to unify” Americans.” This list included both Republicans and Democrats.
Kasich did not vote for candidates based on specific policies, he said; but on the promise and mission of unity.
That is sound advice as we all head to the polls today, 6th November 2018…because every vote counts.
Cast yours, and ask your friends, family and neighbors if they need help getting to the polling place.
Be well. Think unity, think community, think health.