Tea Party activists in Ohio say they will back Republicans who challenge any G-O-P lawmakers who vote for the expansion of Medicaid.
Maurice Thompson of the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law says his group will give legal support to anyone in the upcoming primary who wants to take on lawmakers who vote to expand the federal health care program for the poor. But he says don’t expect his group to necessarily back a challenger to Ohio Governor John Kasich, who’s already come out in favor of the expansion and has been making the case for it recently.
Thompson: "The governor has set himself up with a very sweet situation where he has JobsOhio and all kinds of leverage over every political donor in the state. So I can’t see a way for Republicans to get around that apparatus really. I don’t think it’s tenantable for the Governor to have a primary opponent so I just don’t see that happening."
Thompson says taxpayers will lose out if lawmakers pass the Medicaid expansion. Governor Kasich argues expanding Medicaid is a way to bring dollars Ohioans pay to the federal government back to the state to help with Ohio’s poorest citizens. And Kasich says without this expansion, rural and urban hospitals could end up closing their doors in a few years as the federal reimbursement plan changes.