(Bloomberg Politics) — COLUMBIA, S.C. — Most Republican governors have resisted taking Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) Medicaid expansion money. Ohio Gov. John Kasich took it right away, and he has chastised critics in religious terms.
“When you die and get to the meeting with St. Peter,” told the Columbus Dispatch in 2013, “he’s probably not going to ask you much about what you did about keeping government small. But he is going to ask you what you did for the poor. You better have a good answer.”
On a Wednesday visit to South Carolina, as Kasich stoked speculation that he may run for president, I asked him how he’d respond if the Supreme Court struck down subsidies for people who bought health insurance plans through the federal exchange at HealthCare.gov.
“If we ended up in a situation — and again, I don’t like to get ahead of ourselves on what a Supreme Court might do — but if it threw half a million people [off] insurance, we’d have to look at it,” said Kasich. “And we haven’t made any determination on that, but — I’m gonna try to avoid your question — I’ve got good people working on this. We’ve chatted about this. If the court makes a decision that these exchanges get shut down, then we’re gonna have to figure something out in Ohio.”
I followed up, and asked if Kasich would rule out creating an exchange for Ohio. “I don’t know,” he said. “I don’t want to tell you exactly. There are things you have to think about. There are a lot of options you have to think about. There’s choices you have to make. I don’t want to have to make choices before I know what’s in hand.”