Ohio Gov. John Kasich is pictured at the Highland House Museum in Hillsboro in this Highland County Press file photo by Brandy Chandler.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich is pictured at the Highland House Museum in Hillsboro in this Highland County Press file photo by Brandy Chandler.

By Jason Hart
Ohio Watchdog
http://watchdog.org/223390/ohio-obamacare-1billion/

If Ohio Gov. John Kasich can fundraise as fast as he’s spending Obamacare money, he’s a shoo-in for the Republican presidential nomination.

After just 17 months, Kasich’s Obamacare expansion has cost federal taxpayers $3.7 billion. That’s over $1 billion more than the Kasich administration projected for the expansion’s first 18 months.

Obamacare expansion benefits for working-age Ohioans who aren’t disabled and don’t have kids cost taxpayers more than $300 million every month from December to May, based on Ohio Department of Medicaid figures.

Although enrollment — which Kasich said would reach 366,000 by next month — has leveled out at around 540,000, Obamacare expansion costs have increased each month for the past six months.

ODM reported spending $327 million on Kasich’s Obamacare expansion in May, with all the costs covered by federal taxpayers.

Starting in January 2017, Ohio taxpayers will be on the hook for 5 percent of the expansion’s benefit costs. The state share alone will top $200 million in 2017.

Ohio’s share of Medicaid expansion costs will ratchet up to 10 percent by 2020, sticking state taxpayers with a tab exceeding $30 million every month. With the federal government already $18 trillion in debt, more federal funding cuts are likely.

After campaigning against Obamacare, Kasich unilaterally expanded Medicaid under Obamacare and turned to the pseudo-legislative Ohio Controlling Board with a request to spend $2.56 billion in Obamacare money.

 

 

While his Obamacare expansion’s costs and enrollment have careened out of control, Kasich has traveled the country promoting Obamacare expansion as a conservative, Christian policy.

ODM had burned through the spending approved for Medicaid expansion by February. Luckily for the governor, his administration wildly overestimated the number of traditional Medicaid recipients who would enroll starting in 2014.

Republican supermajorities in both the Ohio House and Senate have approved budgets continuing Kasich’s Obamacare expansion, which will cost at least $7 billion over the next two years.

For more information, go to: http://watchdog.org/223390/ohio-obamacare-1billion/

Jason Hart is Watchdog.org's Ohio-based National Labor Reporter. Contact him at jhart@watchdog.org and follow him on Twitter @jasonahart.