In a USA Today op-ed published online Sunday and in print Monday, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a former FOX News commentator, urged Ohioans to expand Medicaid. The Republican governor, who is in a fight over the issue with his own party, turned to President Ronald Reagan, whom Kasich says expanded Medicaid a number of times, to make his case:
Leaders in the states that have decided against expanding have often invoked Reagan conservatism as the reason to oppose extending Medicaid health care coverage to more people. After all, doesn’t Reagan embody modern conservatism? He cut taxes, cut government red tape and fought the growth of entitlements.

Yes, he did all those things. However, he also expanded Medicaid, not just once but several times.

For example, in 1986, President Reagan let states add poor children and pregnant women to Medicaid. And a fter learning that disabled children could receive Medicaid care only in hospitals and nursing homes, he let states provide them care at home also. Ohio resisted both expansions for a decade but saw powerful results for some of our most vulnerable citizens once we made them. ...

Extending health care coverage to 275,000 low-income Ohioans — including 26,000 veterans — builds on what we have done. It spares our hospitals the effects of looming cuts in federal funding for uninsured care, prevents additional projected increases in health insurance costs, and gives low-income workers a hand as they move up and into the workforce.

In other words, Kasich asserts you can be fiscally responsible, pragmatic and compassionate at the same time. Just like Ronald Reagan.

Louisiana legislators, Gov. Jindal (the "next Ronald Reagan"), are you listening?

We didn’t think so.

Read Kasich’s op-ed here.

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