GOP primaries

Kasich defends Medicaid expansion in Ohio

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Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a likely Republican presidential candidate, on Tuesday defended his decision to accept federal dollars for a Medicaid expansion as part of ObamaCare.
“There is no money in Washington, it’s money we sent from our state of Ohio to Washington that I was able to bring back to help the mentally ill get on their feet,” he said in an interview with CNBC.
“There are more and more Republican governors who are getting their toes in the water and some of them sneaking into the water to do exactly what we are doing here. So I was just an early mover, but the fact is, overall, we have a healthier society.”
{mosads}He defended the decision as rooted in Biblical teaching of helping the “downtrodden,” and he pushed back against others in his party that panned Obama’s Medicaid expansion as bloating the size of the federal government. 
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is the only other Republican governor in the field to expand Medicaid. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry chose not to. 
“Sometimes people say, ‘well Kasich is not a conservative,’ ” he said.
“I balanced budgets, cut taxes by more than anybody in the country, have a history of doing that. But yet I also think we have to reach out to people who live in the shadows. Sometimes I don’t know that everybody gets it. Change is difficult, it always is.”
Kasich also said his time working for Lehman Brothers just before the 2008 financial crash made him concerned about a creeping “greed factor” that can lead to “mistakes.” 
While he cautioned that the conduct that led to the financial crash might not have been a crime, he didn’t fully absolve those responsible.
“Just because you do something that’s greedy that can end up in failure doesn’t mean you committed a crime,” he said.  
“But you know what? There’s a judgment that comes later, about how many people get hurt. And frankly, that’s a pretty tough judgment in my opinion.”
Kasich has flirted with a presidential bid for a while and will announce his late entry next week. He’s currently well behind in the polls with less than a month before the first debate.
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