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Government and Politics

Ohio's Tea Party warns GOP lawmakers of challenges if they back Medicaid expansion
But Maurice Thompson acknowledges the governor may be untouchable in a primary

Jo Ingles
In The Region:

Tea Party activists in Ohio say they will back Republicans who challenge any incumbent GOP lawmakers who vote to expand 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 for expansion of the federal health care program for the poor.

But he says don’t expect his group to back a challenger to Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich, the chief backer of the expansion.

Thompson on Kasich's sweet spot

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"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," Thompson says. "So I can’t see a way for Republicans to get around that apparatus really. I don’t think it’s tenable for the governor to have a primary opponent.”

Thompson says taxpayers will lose if lawmakers pass the Medicaid expansion. Gov. Kasich argues that expanding Medicaid is a way to bring federal dollars back to Ohio and to help the neediest of Ohio's citizens. And Kasich says without the expansion, rural and urban hospitals could end up closing in a few years as the federal reimbursement plan changes.

Listener Comments:

Typical reporter. Won't bother to check the facts but thinks she has scored a 'hit piece' b/c she ascribes insults. Lazy, irresponsible, partisan journalism.

Posted by: JoAnn (Ohio) on February 23, 2013 3:02AM
One important aspect of this story is being ignored nearly everywhere: the Kasich administration is lying about the amount of federal dollars that would be Ohioans' money coming "back to Ohio," and is also lying by claiming Ohio's Medicaid expansion funds will go to other states if we don't expand the program.

In truth, the General Assembly can block billions in new deficit spending - from a federal government already $16.5 trillion in the red - by rejecting the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion. Details at

Posted by: Jason Hart (Columbus) on February 22, 2013 10:02AM
The Tea Partiers issue a hollow threat. The GOP, if they are smart, will tall them to take a hike. Tea Partiers are finding out that they are becoming less and less of a threat...expecially when they have revealed their true colors (and intelligence).

Posted by: John on February 22, 2013 7:02AM
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