Jindal hits Kasich for expanding Medicaid under ObamaCare

Jindal hits Kasich for expanding Medicaid under ObamaCare

Lousiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) criticized Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) for expanding Medicaid under ObamaCare at a presidential debate on Thursday. 

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Speaking at the early debate for candidates lower in the polls, Jindal took a shot at Kasich, a rival candidate who will appear on the main debate stage later this evening. 

“I don’t think anybody should expand Medicaid,” said Jindal, who rejected the expansion in his state. “I think it was a mistake to expand Medicaid everywhere, in Ohio and across the country.”

Kasich is unusual among the Republican presidential candidates in that he accepted the expansion. Under ObamaCare, states have the choice of expanding eligibility for Medicaid, the government health insurance program for the poor, up to 138 percent of the poverty level. 

Kasich has portrayed his move as coming from his concern for the poor. 

The fiscally conservative group Club for Growth has been seeking to highlight Kasich's decision to expand Medicaid. Ahead of the debate, the group sent out suggestions to Fox News on how to challenge Kasich on the matter.

“You vetoed the Ohio legislature’s effort to block Medicaid expansion under Obamacare, and now the projected cost of your expansion is more than double what your administration projected,” the group said. 

Jindal said that instead, in Louisiana, “we’re helping people get better paying jobs so they can provide for their own healthcare.”

He added that even though most of the funds come from the federal government, “this isn’t free money,” saying it was borrowed from China. 

Former New York Gov. George Pataki and fellow 2016 hopeful agreed. “I don’t think you expand entitlements when so many people are dependent on government,” he said.