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Gov. John Kasich Explains Why He Expanded Medicaid In Ohio

GOV. JOHN KASICH (R-OH): I had a chance to bring home to Ohio, like a number of other governors -- including Jan Brewer -- a chance to bring Ohio money back to Ohio to do some things that frankly needed to be done. And that's to treat the mentally ill, to get them across the bridge so they can get employment. The same for the drug addicted and you know drug addiction is in every demographic, every income, every community. To it treat those people, rehab them, and get them to work. And also to make sure the working poor have a system that makes sense, instead of showing up and getting their healthcare and getting all their healthcare in emergency rooms.

Now, that being said, I have never been a supporter of Obamacare. The reason, and to give you an example, we refused to run a state exchange because we didn't have the authority to make decisions. On our Medicaid program it grows by less than 3% and it's been filled with innovation and that's because we run it.

LAURA INGRAHAM: But the president cited Medicaid expansion, Governor Kasich, as his big success story thus far in Obamacare. He said it doesn't get reported as such, but this is a huge success story, that we're seeing all these people enrolling in Medicaid across the states that are accepting expansion money and he said we deserve credit for that and he gave you some credit for that.

Isn't that a little bit tricky though as a conservative because you are so great on budgetary matters -- you were great up on the Hill and the great work you did there -- hen the federal government is spending money that we know the federal government really doesn't have to expand a program like this?

KASICH: Yeah, well, you know very well, Laura, that if i don't bring Ohio money back they are not going to put it in a piggy bank. And I think that it's critical that they are able to help people to help themselves get them to work. Now, we promised the mentally ill when we took them out of the big institutions that they would get help. Where are they now? We have ten thousand in our prisons, many in the jails and many on the streets. Conservatism means that you help people so they can help themselves and that they can enter into the economic strength of our country. Now you have to separate that from the fact that the government was designing the program to take over our whole healthcare system in the back rooms of. Capitol Hill. I don't support, but there is a big distinction between Medicaid and our ability to bring our money back to fix our problems as opposed to the a government takeover of the healthcare system. I think it's not fair to draw a distinction between the two.

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