Monday, August 17, 2015

Darrio Melton: Bentley endorses Kasich’s campaign but not his policies

  Governor Bentley has just announced that he is endorsing Ohio Governor John Kasich for President of the United States. Governor Kasich has been faulted by many Republicans for stepping up and expanding Medicaid in Ohio, although he has doubled-down on his decision several times.

  Governor Kasich has been quoted as defending his decision from his religious perspective, saying, "Now, when you die and get to the meeting with St. Peter, he’s probably not going to ask you much about what you did about keeping government small. But he is going to ask you what you did for the poor. You better have a good answer."

  In the first Republican debate, Kasich stood by his decision again, reminding viewers that President Ronald Reagan expanded Medicaid multiple times.

  Yet our own governor, who is endorsing Kasich for showing leadership and having a heart for people, refuses to show the very same leadership to save Alabama lives, keep our rural hospitals open, create jobs, and return Alabama dollars to our state where they belong.

  At his endorsement announcement, Kasich said that his mother used to tell him that it's a sin not to help those who need it, and the Bible goes on to support Kasich's mother's words: "But whoever has the world's goods and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth."

  Governor Bentley says he has a heart for people, and he says he cares about the poor. But it is not enough to love in word or with tongue. He must love in deed and truth by turning those words into actions as Governor Kasich did by expanding Medicaid.

  It's time to stop playing party politics and do what's right for Alabama. I support Governor Bentley's words, and I'm looking forward to the opportunity to support his deeds when he follows in Kasich's footsteps and expands Medicaid.

  About the author: Rep. Darrio Melton is a Democrat from Selma. He was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 2010 and currently serves as chair of the House Democratic Caucus.

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