Editorial: Gov. Kasich’s Plan Makes Sense – Ohioans Should Support


In this editorial, the Dispatch explains why Ohioans should support Governor Kasich’s plans to cut taxes and reform Medicaid – both efforts to lead to job creation and stronger families:

In his State of the State address and in the budget proposal that occupied much of the speech, Gov. John Kasich has laid out a plan to sustain and accelerate Ohio’s economic recovery. That’s a prospect worth cheering for, but it won’t come to pass if an ideology-bound legislature stands in the way.

Kasich is taking heat from fellow Republicans for his plan to expand Medicaid using federal dollars. From Democrats, it’s flak over his proposal to lower state income tax and lower, but more broadly apply, state sales tax. This diverse chorus of complaints illustrates what sets Kasich apart from most politicians: He panders to no special interest but Ohio’s welfare. He works to solve problems, not play on a political team.

That will be no comfort to Ohioans if lawmakers reject his good ideas. Anyone who is putting Ohioans’ best interests first can see that expanding Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act is the right call.

This doesn’t suggest that the federal health-care overhaul is a good law; it isn’t. But it is, nevertheless, the law. Rejecting Medicaid expansion is not going to roll back the overhaul. So state officials’ obligation is to navigate it to Ohio’s greatest advantage. To do otherwise hurts no one except Ohioans. As long as the federal government is paying most of the cost, which it has pledged to do until at least 2020, expansion is the best deal. Kasich’s proposal calls for reversing the expansion if the feds stop covering the cost.

First and foremost, by extending Medicaid coverage to anyone earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, it means that an estimated 275,000 low-income people will be guaranteed insurance coverage. The benefits accrue to everyone: People who can get preventive care won’t end up in emergency rooms with conditions that have grown unnecessarily serious and expensive. This lowers medical spending overall and eases hospitals’ burden for uncompensated care, which should help lower premiums for those who have insurance.

An economic study by four reputable groups attached some compelling numbers to the issue: the expansion would mean a net gain to the state of $104 million in 2014 and $1.4 billion by 2022.

Some state lawmakers object that the debt-laden federal government doesn’t have the means to fund this new entitlement. But that is an issue for federal lawmakers to grapple with. If state lawmakers turn down the $17 billion slated for Medicaid expansion in Ohio, the federal government will spend it elsewhere, and Ohioans will be worse off.

With his tax proposals, Kasich follows the sound economic policy of shifting the burden toward consumption rather than income. The sales-tax changes are not, as critics contend, a disproportionate burden to lower-income families. Some services that weren’t taxable before would become subject to tax, but the overall rate would be lowered to 5 percent from 5.5 percent, and housing, food and health-care spending would remain exempt.

Reducing income tax by 20 percent over three years, and even more for small-business owners, would give all Ohioans a break and put more money into the private economy, the ultimate source of wealth for the whole state.

As a candidate in 2010, Kasich was painted by opponents as an extremist conservative, but he has proven otherwise. He is a pragmatist who puts success ahead of ideology. Recession-weary Ohioans want lawmakers to do the same.

You can read the original article here.

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3 Responses to Editorial: Gov. Kasich’s Plan Makes Sense – Ohioans Should Support

  1. Randall February 21, 2013 at 10:27 pm #

    Aside from cutting taxes, what are the “big ideas” that his administration has? Do tell! Cutting taxes isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I don’t count it as a big idea. More like an old idea that has rarely if ever been statistically shown to actually create jobs.

  2. KTFO Team February 22, 2013 at 8:03 am #

    Randall – please take a few minutes to read some of the other posts on this blog or visit the Governor’s official website to learn more. There are some really big ideas here! http://jobsbudget.ohio.gov

  3. Bill Simmons February 22, 2013 at 8:53 am #

    The State of the State was simply a breath of fresh air after so many years of the insufferable arrogance we have witnessed from so many of our elected representatives, especially in Washington D.C. The Governor’s speech was replete with facts about the issues our state government has had the courage to promptly address head-on, and together with its successes and failures, the truth is undeniable to those who are still capable of recognizing facts as truth.
    As a person who was raised by and grew up surrounded by what Tom Brokaw referred to as “The Greatest Generation”, I am heartened to see elected officials who see the problems we face today for what they are and revert to “common sense” to solve them. Very few of the people who set the example for me had the opportunity to have a degree from college, but they understood the simple, undeniable fact that you cannot spend more than you take in, and that the harder you work, the luckier you get. My grandfather, with his ninth-grade education, taught some professors at OARDC how he hybridized a striped African Violet plant, which helped propel his successful greenhouse business in Medina county to world wide prominence. Today, there is still great opportunity for people who are willing to get enough continuing education (education being a life-long committment that doesn’t end with your degree) to roll up their sleeves and work hard to succeed in today’s Ohio, in whatever field of endeavor God has blessed you with the desire and talent to pursue.
    Thanks to the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and both houses for your leadership and common sense approach to the amazing overhaul of this state in such a short time. I have a renewed faith that my government, at least at the state level, understands the role government was intended to play in the lives of ordinary and extrodinary Americans, and I stand in support your efforts.

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