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Seen the light? Ohio Gov. Kasich says Bible supports Obamacare

By   /   January 29, 2015  /   News  /   No Comments

Part 3 of 19 in the series Kasich's Obamacare Roadshow
AP file photo

IT’S IN THE GOOD BOOK: Promoting Obamacare in South Dakota, Montana and several national interviews last week, Ohio Gov. John Kasich touted the Bible chapter’s depiction of judgment based on individual charity as a sweeping endorsement of government programs for the poor.


By Jason Hart | Watchdog.org

Matthew 25 includes a call for more entitlement spending and provides biblical justification for Obamacare, or so says Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Promoting Obamacare in South Dakota, Montana and several national interviews last week, Kasich touted the Bible chapter’s depiction of judgment based on individual charity as a sweeping endorsement of government programs for the poor.

Kasich, a Republican, campaigned against Obamacare in 2010, saying the law’s Medicaid expansion would “stick states with large and unsustainable costs.” He unilaterally implemented the Obamacare Medicaid expansion in 2013.

The Obamacare expansion puts able-bodied, working-age adults with no dependent children on Medicaid at a cost of billions per year in new federal spending. By Kasich’s description, Matthew 25 amounts to a divine endorsement of the policy.

“Now, if you ever read Matthew 25, I think, ‘I wanna feed the hungry and clothe the naked,'” Kasich said when asked about Obamacare at a Jan. 20 event in Pierre, South Dakota.

“Now, I don’t know whether you ever read Matthew 25, but I commend it to you, the end of it, about do you feed the homeless and do you clothe the poor,” Kasich told Montana legislators when asked about Obamacare at a Helena press conference the next day.

Kasich cited Matthew 25 when defending his Obamacare expansion during a Fox News interview aired Jan. 22, during a Jan. 22 Hugh Hewitt interview and during an NPR interview aired Friday.

Regarding Obamacare critics, Kasich told NPR, “I don’t pay much attention to narrow ideologues.”

“Opposition to Medicaid because it wastes a ton of resources, does a lousy job of getting people medical care, creates a sense of entitlement, degrades other people’s health care via senseless regulation, and traps people in dependence would not seem to automatically make one a ‘goat’ destined for Hell,” Linda Gorman, health policy director for the Colorado-based Independence Institute, said in an email to Watchdog.org.

Photo credit: Independence Institute

SKEPTIC: Independence Institute health policy director Linda Gorman is unconvinced by Kasich’s Obamacare rhetoric

“If nothing else, if there are better ways to help people who cannot afford medical care Matthew 25 may say we have a duty to explore them,” Gorman continued.

“The earlier parts of Matthew 25 make it pretty clear that one has a duty to be reasonably prepared for life and to use one’s talents and abilities to achieve better outcomes when possible,” she said. “If my reading is accurate, it follows that it probably is not a good idea to pretend to help people by simply arguing for expansion without caring how other people will be affected by it.”

Gorman pointed to an Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty column by David Bosnich on the Catholic principle of subsidiarity, which “holds that nothing should be done by a larger and more complex organization which can be done as well by a smaller and simpler organization.”

“An orchestrated attempt to claim that Christians have a duty to support nationalized health care in the United States has been front and center in the ideological health care policy war since the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation decided that it had to go state by state after the failure of Clinton Care,” Gorman noted.

Kasich’s use of Matthew 25 to promote Obamacare marks a new level of commitment to a narrative the governor rolled out in February 2013 when he first began pressing the Republican-controlled Ohio General Assembly to expand Medicaid.

By mid-2013, Kasich was publicly warning lawmakers they could face eternal consequences for opposing his Obamacare Medicaid expansion.

Discussing the expansion with reporters in June 2013, Kasich said he had told a lawmaker, “when you die and get to the, get to the, uh, to the meeting with St. Peter, he’s probably not gonna ask you much about what you did about keeping government small, but he’s going to ask you what you did for the poor.”

Challenged on this point in numerous interviews that followed, Kasich has never backed down from his insistence the Obamacare expansion is supported by the Bible. He has even repeated his warning Obamacare opponents may be denied entry into Heaven.

Answering a question about Obamacare at a campaign event last October, Kasich said, “when ya get to see St. Peter he’s not gonna ask, ‘Did you balance the budget?’ He’s going to say, whether he’s Peter or whether he’s Jacob, ‘What’d you do for the least of those?'”

Kasich’s use of the Bible to promote Obamacare comes as the Obama administration and other socialized medicine advocates press more than a dozen holdout states to implement the unpopular law’s Medicaid expansion.

Part of 19 in the series Kasich's Obamacare Roadshow


Jason is an Ohio-based reporter covering labor issues for Watchdog.org, with a focus on right-to-work, public employee unions and Obamacare. Before joining Watchdog, Jason was communications director for Media Trackers Ohio. His work has been featured at FoxNews.com, Hot Air, The Daily Signal, RedState, Townhall and elsewhere. His investigations into labor union spending and Obamacare's Medicaid expansion have been cited by national commentators including Jim Geraghty, Michelle Malkin, Erick Erickson, Dana Loesch and Mark Levin. Jason can be reached on Twitter at @jasonahart and by email at jhart@watchdog.org