Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Wednesday that he wants to repeal Obamacare, even though his state received $14 billion in federal money under the Affordable Care Act to expand Medicaid coverage to low-income residents.
"I don't support Obamacare," Kasich, who is contemplating a bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, told Jake Tapper on CNN.
"I want to repeal it.
"But I did expand Medicaid because I was able to bring Ohio money back home to treat the mentally ill, the drug-addicted, and help the working poor get healthcare."
Under Obamacare, states could expand their Medicaid rolls
, with the federal government paying 100 percent of the costs through 2016. So far, more than 12 million people have signed up for Medicaid under Obamacare since January 2014, according to Politico.
He noted that under the 2012 Supreme Court ruling that upheld Obamacare, Chief Justice John Roberts "gave all the states the ability to decide" whether to expand Medicaid. "I'm going to bring $14 billion of Ohio money back to Ohio, so we can deal with some of our vexing problems."
Kasich offered the retort after Tapper said that he had "embraced Obamacare in your state." The CNN anchor was asking the governor about his record in both the Statehouse and on Capitol Hill.
"I oppose Obamacare," he reiterated. "But because you oppose Obamacare doesn't mean when you have an opportunity to bring these $14 billion of Ohio money back to Ohio [you don’t]. That's not Obamacare. That's Medicaid."
Kasich said that he would prefer to have the federal government pay out the Medicaid funds via block grants, "as I can be more helpful in helping those who are poor and live in poverty."
"But I also want to hold them accountable to get them work and get out of that situation," he said. "That's where I think we have to go. I think Obamacare's disrupted too much."
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