Bush jabs Kasich on Medicaid
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Jeb Bush jabbed at John Kasich on his expansion of Medicaid under ObamaCare during Saturday’s GOP presidential debate in South Carolina.

Kasich, Ohio's governor, defended his state’s Medicaid programs by noting that they are under cost estimates and that they provide healthcare options that lead to cost savings down the road. 


“When we expand Medicaid and we treat the mentally ill, they don't live under a bridge or live in a prison where they cost $22,500 a year,” he said.

“When we take the drug addicted and we treat them in the prisons, we stop the revolving door of people in and out of prisons.”

But Bush jumped in to push back, framing Kasich as aiding and abetting Obama's controversial healthcare law. 

“Expanding ObamaCare is what we are talking about. And ObamaCare's expansion, even though the federal government is paying for the great majority of it, is creating further debt on the backs of our children and grandchildren,” the former Florida governor said. 

“We should be fighting ObamaCare, repealing ObamaCare, replacing it with something totally different.”

Kasich regularly says he opposes ObamaCare but has framed the Medicaid expansion as bringing tax dollars back into the state and helping to save lives and save money. 

Bush argued that he played an integral part in lobbying Florida against expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act despite being only a private citizen at the time. He claimed that he met with Florida lawmakers to convince them not to back an expansion. 

Bush and Kasich are sparring for a similar swath of the GOP electorate in South Carolina as they look to make a case that they can be the flag-bearer for the establishment movement.

Bush sits in fourth place in the state with 11 percent in RealClearPolitics' average of recent polls, ahead of Kasich's 9 percent.