A huge turnout of eighty or so gathered at the 21st Century Theater in Oakley Square for a Medicaid Expansion Mobilization meeting – in State Representative Peter Stautberg’s own backyard.
Concerned citizens and opponents of Medicaid expansion from Stautberg’s district and surrounding counties came to learn strategies to defeat Republican Governor John Kasich’s budget plan in the state legislature and urge a “no” vote from Rep. Stautberg.
The meeting was organized by four area liberty groups – Cincinnati East Tea Party, Anderson Tea Party, Liberty Alliance Cincinnati, and Women for Liberty.
A quick tour of Peter Stautberg’s website may provide further information – or raise further questions.
Peter Stautberg (R- Anderson), a member of the Republican-led majority in the House Finance and Appropriations Committee, is a key vote on the committee.
The move to a full floor vote in the House – and the decision to accept Obamacare money as proposed in Kasich’s budget rests squarely on a handful of Republicans, including Stautberg, in the House Finance and Appropriations Committee.
An attention-grabbing 19,751 signatures for the Healthcare Freedom Amendment were collected in Stautberg’s district.
However, according to a March 18 report in Cincinnati.com, Stautberg was quoted,
“He’s hearing mixed opinions on both sides of the Medicaid debate from his constituents.”(Source).
Chris Littleton’s “Case Against KasichCare” presentation elicited an energetic Q & A session from the group – which translated to overwhelming participation on action items. According to a local group leader on Friday,
“We have all of our precincts covered as a lot of those there stepped forward to help.”
Paula Westwood, Executive Director, Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati, spoke about Medicaid expansion from a pro-life perspective. In her March 10 “Medicaid Expansion Attached to Anti-Life Polices” Guest Column to Cincinnati Tea Party, Westwood says:
“The Tea Party’s fiscal vigilance is a source for hope. Thank you, especially for recent efforts to oppose Ohio’s participation in federal Medicaid expansion.”
“Sorting through the un-Affordable Care Act, however, is like nailing jello to the wall, because this document is a living, breathing, growing animal. Just last week, we learned that 700 additional pages had been added to the existing 2,500-page-plus monster, including expansion of abortion coverage.”
From Rep. Stautberg’s website:
- He is pro-life
- Endorsed by Cincinnati RTL in 2012
- Endorsed by Ohio RTL in 2012 – (Ohio RTL now supports Medicaid expansion)
- Endorsed by a long list of Ohio Republican office holders, including Gov. Kasich and Speaker Batchelder
- “Works hard to represent the families of this area.”
- Recognized as a “Defender of Liberty” by the American Conservative Union
- Will oppose any legislation that promotes or encourages healthcare rationing for the elderly (Cincinnati RTL 2010 Candidate Questionaire)
- “Peter Stautberg is fighting for the issues that matter to you”
- “We need common sense conservative leadership in Columbus”
- Introduced H.C.R. 35 – A Resolution Supporting Religious Liberty in February 2012
Upon passage of H.C.R. 35 in February 2012, just weeks before the March 6, 2012 primary, Stautberg said,
For all Americans, this particular mandate was not simply about politics—it was about religious liberty” (Feb 2012)
And, “I applaud my colleagues in the Ohio House for supporting this resolution in the hope that we might send a message to Washington that there is no justification for the government to direct any church or any faith to contradict its core principles and values” (Feb 2012)
Kasich’s proposed budget contains plans to voluntarily accept federal entitlement money for the expansion of the state’s Medicaid program – despite Ohio voters’ roundly rejecting Obamacare by a 2 to 1 margin with a 66% passage of the Healthcare Freedom Amendment in November 2011.
KasichCare and acceptance of any form of federal entitlement funding would thereby advance Ohio on the slippery slope to Obamacare and more government spending.
According to Littleton, Governor “Kasich’s budget increased ten percent over last year and he wants federal funds to patch his budget” – which comes with strings attached in the form of PPACA mandates.
“Ohio hospitals would net millions without charity care funding,” according to Media Trackers Ohio. For example, Mercy Hospital Anderson’s net income with Charity Care offsets is $29,089,522.
“Only 11 percent of Ohioans rank healthcare as a top priority”, according to Opportunity Ohio. 40% rank jobs and unemployment as the most important issue facing Ohioans.
The Ohio Liberty Coalition has made defeat of Medicaid expansion a high legislative priority and is executing a statewide plan of action.
The future of Obamacare in Ohio rests solely in the hands of a few Republicans in the Ohio House.
A related meeting will be held in Representative Peter Beck’s (R) district in Mason on Monday, March 25 at 7 pm at the Mason Municipal Center, 6000 Mason Montgomery Road in Mason, Ohio.
Will Rep. Stautberg represent the interests of Governor Kasich, Leader Batchelder, the Republican caucus, lobbyists and special interests such as the Ohio Hospital Association with a yes vote?
Or will he vote the interests of his constituents by voting no to advancing Obamacare in Ohio?
The energy, motivation, and momentum in that Oakley Theater was palpable – and unmistakable.