Ohio Governor John Kasich comes to Cleveland to make the case for his budget
John Kosich, newsnet5.com
7:41 PM, Apr 3, 2013
CLEVELAND - Gov. John Kasich stands firmly behind his $63.3 billion budget and the major changes proposed in it from education reform, to an overhaul of the state's sales tax shifting the emphasis from goods to services, to modernizing the severance tax on big oil and gas producers to expanding Medicaid.
He stands behind them but he said Wednesday at the City Club of Cleveland he knows there were bound to be changes.
"It is always necessary to push, to create to innovate and even if your pushing and creating and innovating with your ideas you can't fall so much in love with them that you're not in a position to be able to accept the tweaks and the changes and some other directions that come," Kasich said.
So while Kasich wants to raise the severance tax on the big out of state oil companies from 20 cents on a barrel of oil to a flat rate of four percent and use that money to lower the state's income tax, he knows what he's up against in the legislature.
"We run up against a lot of special interests, which I have done my entire lifetime, it's just the way that it goes.," Kasich said.
Kasich also expressed give on the state sales tax shift from consumption to a service base.
Where he appeared to dig in his heels with the Cleveland City Club crowd was on the issue of expanding Medicaid, which he's facing opposition for from his Republican legislators.
"There is $13 billion dollars that Ohio can bring back, it's our money, we sent it to Washington we should bring it back home to fix our problems," he said.
Kasich said their goal is to make sure people who are poor or working poor or poor, many of whom who are forced to go to emergency rooms for their primary care, are insured.
"We also know that the federal government is going to cut back the reimbursements to hospitals for care that is not paid for, that will throw our rural and our urban and our suburban hospitals into a tailspin and it will cost a lot of jobs."
Beyond that Kasich said it would leave many Ohioans without access to treatment for mental illness and chemical dependency.
"This is Ohio. This is a great industrial big sized, big time state, we will make this work. And we're not going to ignore people who live in the shadows it is not right."
But because voting to support Medicaid expansion is seen by many Republicans as supporting President Obama's Affordable Care Act, many legislators are in any hurry to back it.
"The Medicaid expansion is a tough issue," Kasich told the city club crowd. "Put your arms around these representatives because they're getting hammered from people that are just 'no we should do nothing.'"
"Some people think we ought to resurrect our own Ohio program, in other words send the federal dollars somewhere else which are our dollars and then spend more money out of our current budget to do this. No, no, no, no, that's paying twice," he said.
"So we got to overcome ideology we've got to overcome legitimate concerns and we got to help people to give ourselves a healthy state. We are doing so much better economically we can't stop.
"One other things this nasty mean politics must come to an end. When it comes particularly to poor people, when it comes to poor people there is no partisanship," Kasich said.