Politics & Policy

John Kasich: Medicaid Expansion Is Type of Policy that Could Reduce Mass Shootings

Kasich speaks in Washington, D.C., October 6, 2015. (Alex Wong/Getty)

John Kasich pointed to his controversial expansion of Medicaid in Ohio today as an example of the type of action government can take to prevent mass shootings.

“Look, part of the reason I expanded Medicaid is so people can get help, so that people can get some help at the community level.” Kasich said Tuesday when asked about the role of government in preventing gun violence. “Yeah, I think it’s very, very important for all of us to think of the things we can do to try to attach ourselves more to building the community from the bottom up.”

Kasich was speaking at an event hosted by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C.

“I don’t think that gun control would solve this problem. Here’s what I think part of the problem is, the deeper issue: The deeper issue is alienation; the deeper issue is loneliness; the deeper issue is no attention to an individual who’s really struggling,” Kasich said of gun violence.

The Ohio governor repeated his statement from several days ago that “you’re not gonna take everyone’s guns away, that’s not practical,” adding that it would not solve the problem. But, he specified, “when somebody is clearly unstable,” they should not be able to purchase a gun.

#share#The expansion of Medicaid in Ohio under Obamacare has been much maligned by conservatives. In particular, Kasich’s justifications of the expansion as the moral, Christian thing to do, have rubbed many the wrong way. Kasich drew derision from conservatives earlier in his remarks Tuesday when he offered to buy a bible for critics of his Medicaid expansion.

Kasich has emerged as a contender for the establishment mantle in the Republican primary fight. But sagging poll numbers in New Hampshire, where he’s focusing most of his campaign resources, have prompted some recent consternation.

— Alexis Levinson is the senior political reporter for National Review.

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