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After days of criticism from conservatives, Gov. John Kasich snagged a significant endorsement for his Medicaid expansion plan Friday from Ohio Right to Life.
The prominent anti-abortion group's board agreed to back to back the proposal with "100 percent approval," President Mike Gonidakis told The Plain Dealer.
"Our mission is to support life from womb to tomb," Gonidakis said. "In this case minorities will benefit, the poor will benefit. It will cover the parents of young children."
He added: "I think what we're seeing from this governor is a kind and compassionate approach. I would ask our friends in the Tea Party to read the full proposal and see it's not only the most compassionate, but also the most fiscally responsible. You don't have to be a Democrat or a Republican to support this."
Kasich, a Republican up for re-election in 2014, announced he favored the expansion Monday while unveiling his two-year budget proposal. Though he maintains that he is a staunch opponent of President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, Kasich said the expansion called for under the law known as Obamacare provides coverage for those in need. With the U.S. Supreme Court upholding the law but giving states the right to opt out of the expansion, Kasich does not want to risk losing federal funds supporting the expansion to other states.
"Without this move Obamacare is likely to increase health insurance premiums even higher in Ohio," Kasich wrote in defense of his decision Wednesday on the conservative website RedState.com. "Worse, it takes $17 billion of Ohioans' federal tax dollars out of our state and gives it to other states -- where it will go to work helping to rev up some other state's economy instead of Ohio's."