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Protecting the Ohio Model

Obamacare is not the path any of us would have chosen, but it’s the path we find ourselves on so we better do everything we can to contain its impact until we can take back the White House and fix it. 

I said no to a state exchange in Ohio for just that reason—to limit Obamacare’s impact.  I said no to Obamacare’s takeover of our state’s insurance regulations and no to Obamacare’s takeover of our Medicaid eligibility system as well. None of those things were good for Ohio and saying no to them are helping limit Obamacare’s impact on my state.

Now I’ve proposed extending Medicaid health coverage to low-income and working poor Ohioans, in part, to limit further damage from Obamacare.  Without this move Obamacare is likely to increase health insurance premiums even higher in Ohio.  Worse, it takes $13 billion of Ohioans’ federal tax dollars out of our state and gives it to other states—where it will go to work helping to rev up some other state’s economy instead of Ohio’s.  That’s what happens if expansion doesn’t happen in Ohio. 

Whenever federal resources are being distributed to the states—and there’s nothing we at the state level can do to prevent that spending—then Ohioans shouldn’t be robbed of their fair share.  Ohioans earned that money, it’s theirs, and they deserve it just like citizens of every other state.  Though it admittedly doesn’t support expansion, the National Review gets this point and writes, “fiscally conservative governors should not be expected to decline benefits while their constituents’ federal tax dollars continue to fund such benefits in liberal states.” I make no apologies for ever standing up for my state and any governor who would is in the wrong job.

When I chaired the U.S. House of Representatives’ Budget Committee I led the effort to balance the federal budget for the first time since men walked on the moon.  I left Washington in 1999 and the federal budget has never been balanced since.  In Ohio, in my first budget as governor, I squashed an $8 billion deficit without a tax increase and cut taxes $800 million.  This week I proposed another balanced budget that cuts taxes another $1.4 billion and generates a surplus large enough to automatically give Ohioans an additional $400 million tax cut.  I’m a passionate budget hawk and proud of it.

I’m also passionate about bringing Ohio back to life.  We’ve gone from 48th in the country in job creation to 6th—in 24 months—and we’ve got more progress to make.  I’m not about to let Obamacare derail us.  I’m going to keep doing whatever I can to limit, reduce, curtail and contain its impact —even if it means having to think outside of the box to do it.

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