September 23, 2013
John Kasich
Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks about health coverage in Columbus last July. (Chris Russell/The Columbus Dispatch via Associated Press)

There is some crazy bipartisanship going down in Ohio, E.J. Dionne writes, where a pair of liberal leaders, one political and one religious, are verbally patting their Republican governor, John Kasich, on the back. Because Governor Kasich has defied his party to argue for accepting federal money to expand access to Medicare for his citizenry. Because the money is part of the dread Obamacare, which, if PostScript recalls 2010 correctly, will kill all the grandmothers.

So, while the national parties have a big ol’ public fight with the rhetoric and potential consequences turned waaaaay up, cross-party defections like Kasich’s are truly remarkable. Dionne says it’s because unlike Washington, Ohio exists in the real world, meaning that unlike congresspersons, governors have to be realistic and responsible rather than blindly political, so the opportunity to help one’s constituents is trumping the political yelling, just a little; PostScript isn’t ready to be that optimistic yet. Commenters aren’t, either.

tunkefer, for example, thinks it’s still political:

E.J. and the mayor of Columbus give Gov. Kasich lots of credit for backing Medicare expansion. Maybe he is showing political courage. I can’t read his mind. But at least as likely, I think, is Kasich wants to be re-elected next year in a state that went for Obama twice. And a lot of Ohioans remember Kasich’s union busting early in his administration and are none too happy about it.

jeff thinks it’s not terribly difficult to accept large amounts of money from a program one opposes politically, though other governors have refused:

Or maybe it is the billions of dollars in federal assistance being thrown at the states, who would be out of their minds (Or Floridian, or Texan etc.) not to take.

NancyDL1 disagrees with the headline that crossing party lines would make the governor “strange”:

Gov. Kasich is not a strange bedfellow. He is an elected representative of his people who holds the welfare of his people over Tea Party talking points. He is among those who will reclaim the Republican Party – hopefully before the people currently in control run it entirely into the ground.

tzm0003 hopes this signals, if not detente between the parties, then at least some new arguments:

Is Obamacare perfect, no. Am I sick and tired of talking about it, yes. Let’s move on. It is law.

But opponents of the law aren’t yet tired of decrying it, vociferously, loudly and frequently. In this comments section, there were four main anti-Obamacare voices, but they each posted many, many times, arguing from many different angles and with specific responses. It would, PostScript thinks, have taken time and dedication. Here is one such, selected by PostScript as the most impassioned:

FreeBird

ObamaCare is a major step toward further erosion of American freedoms, liberties and quality lifestyles. ObamaCare is another form of Democrat enslavement of the masses. ObamaCare is lower quality health care at higher costs for the masses that exempts the political elite, like Obama and Congress. Ignorance of the masses, and weak-mindedness is the only thing supporting ObamaCare.

Interstate36 doesn’t think that strategy is going to succeed where it hasn’t already:

It’s too late to “argue against a law.” That was [for] when it was a bill and your side lost that argument. Three times.

And Bill Johnson has a new proposed strategy for Obamacare opposers — something the “strange bedfellows” of Dionne’s column might be trying as well. Stop arguing and let the law die on its own:

It’s a clear mistake to try to defund ObamaCare. The law will fail under its own weight. Young people will not subsidize the costs of older Americans. By law, the premium difference between risk pools cannot exceed a multiple of three – meaning that the costs of insuring a diabetic, obese, 58 year old cardiac patient can’t exceed [3x] the cost of insuring a healthy 27 year old, even though the risk is considerably greater than the multiple of three. Either you have to lower the premium for the older person or raise the premium for the younger person.

Let it fail and pick up the pieces.

And meantime, if you’re a governor, take the money and run for reelection.