(Washington Examiner) — Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who campaigned as a limited government Republican, on Monday announced that he would implement one of the costliest provisions of President Obama’s health care law by expanding the state’s Medicaid program. His decision, a huge victory for the White House that will provide cover for more Republican governors to do the same, serves as a great case study on how difficult it is to impede the growth of government.
When Obamacare was making its way through Congress in 2009 and 2010, the proposed expansion of Medicaid was one of its most controversial elements. As things stood, the program was crushing state budgets, so governors in both parties feared that expanding it to 15 million to 18 million beneficial would be unsustainable. Then Sen. Ben Nelson was infamously given the “Cornhusker Kickback” — expanded federal funding for Medicaid to Nebraska — to win help secure the 60th vote to get Obamacare through the Senate.