For all the reasons Ohio’s Republican Governor is doing it:
Kasich says the decision will free up money to spend on mental health and other services — since the feds will pay for most of the expansion costs — and will keep everyone else’s health insurance premiums down because there won’t be so many uninsured people going to emergency rooms for their medical care.
He’ll get a ton of money to do it — the federal government will pick up all of the costs of the newly eligible people for the first three years, and then slowly scale that back to 90 percent of the costs.
Kasich also said he had gotten assurances from White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett that the Obama administration might be willing to give Ohio some special flexibility for doing the Medicaid expansion, like letting the newly insured people get their coverage through the law’s health insurance exchange rather than through Medicaid.
And local health care and business leaders have been pushing Kasich to do it. They say Ohio will save money in the long run and that it makes business sense to do it so community hospitals aren’t forced to close.