Conservative Review - Is Discriminating Against the Most Vulnerable in Kasich’s Bible?

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john kasich

Jose Luis Magana | AP Photo

Is Discriminating Against the Most Vulnerable in Kasich’s Bible?

By: Chris Jacobs | October 8th, 2015

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On Tuesday, Ohio Governor and GOP presidential candidate, John Kasich, spoke to the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Washington. During the conversation, Kasich attacked critics of his choice to expand Medicaid under Obamacare, saying: “There’s a book—it’s got a new part and an old part—they put it together. It’s a remarkable book—if you don’t have one, I’ll buy you one—and it talks about how we treat the poor.”

It’s an ironic comment, seeing as how the Governor himself considered the needs of more than 37,000 individuals with disabilities less important than expanding Obamacare to able-bodied adults.

It’s an ironic comment, seeing as how the Governor himself considered the needs of more than 37,000 individuals with disabilities less important than expanding Obamacare to able-bodied adults.

As a newfound bibliophile, Gov. Kasich might want to read a paper I wrote back in 2013, which explains how Obamacare discriminates against the most vulnerable in our society—including individuals with disabilities. While Obamacare provides states with a 100 percent Medicaid match for the next two years if they choose to expand to able-bodied adults, states get a much lower match rate—in Ohio, it’s just over 62 percent this fiscal year—for covering prior populations, which include pregnant women, children, seniors, and individuals with disabilities.

In Ohio, as in many other states, those vulnerable populations need care. The latest estimates indicate that over 536,000 individuals in 44 different states are on Medicaid waiting lists for home and community-based care. These individuals either need extra support to live at home, or they could move from institutional care back into a home-based setting if given the proper supports. As of 2013, Ohio had over 37,000 individuals on Medicaid waiting lists for home and community-based care—all of which were classified as intellectually or developmentally disabled, according to Kaiser Family Foundation records.

Yet Gov. Kasich, rather than prioritizing his energies and state resources to take these vulnerable citizens off of waiting lists and provide them with needed care, chose instead to expand Medicaid to new populations.

Yet Gov. Kasich, rather than prioritizing his energies and state resources to take these vulnerable citizens off of waiting lists and provide them with needed care, chose instead to expand Medicaid to new populations. These new enrollees are overwhelmingly able-bodied adults—nearly 90 percent in Ohio, according to Urban Institute research. Moreover, only one in five (20%) adults newly enrolled in Medicaid nationwide work full-time, year-round; nearly half (45%) do not work at all.

To sum up: Obamacare effectively discriminates against the most vulnerable, encouraging states to prioritize able-bodied adults over seniors and individuals with disabilities. John Kasich used Obamacare’s incentives to do just that—leave individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities waiting so able-bodied adults could receive care—and has repeatedly cited the Bible as justification for his actions.

So maybe, just maybe, before offering to buy copies of scripture for others, Gov. Kasich should read John 8:7 instead. And if the Governor doesn’t recall that allusion, I’m happy to buy a Bible for him, with that chapter and verse clearly marked, myself.

DISCLOSURE: While serving in a prior role as Policy Director for America Next, Chris worked on the development of the Obamacare alternative now being promoted by Gov. Bobby Jindal in his campaign for President.

 

Chris Jacobs is a Senior Editor at Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @chrisjacobshc.

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