This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," November 15, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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INGRAHAM: In the "Personal Story" segment tonight, it's not every day that President Obama has kind words for a Republican. But, yesterday, at his White House press conference, and hours later during a visit to Ohio, the president heaped praise on a Republican governor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I've got to give your governor a little bit of credit. John Kasich, along with a lot of state legislatures who were here today, they've expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
And think about that. Just that one step means as many as 275,000 Ohioans are going to have health insurance.
And I think it's fair to say that, you know, the governor didn't do it because he just loves me so much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: Joining us now from Columbus, Ohio, --
JOHN KASICH, GOVERNOR, OHIO (R): I have heard that.
INGRAHAM: -- the aforementioned BFF of Barack Obama, the Governor of the Buckeye State, John Kasich. So, governor, so you guys are tight now.
I mean, you guys are practically spooning, you and President Obama. I mean, gosh, I mean that's amazing. Are you BFFs for real.
KASICH: Well, you know, yes, yes. Well, Laura, here's the thing. I had a chance to bring home to Ohio, like a number of other governors we have, including Jan Brewer, the chance to bring Ohio money back to Ohio, to do some things that, frankly, needed to be done.
And that's to treat the mentally-ill, to get them across the bridge so they can get employment. The same for the drug-addicted.
And you know drug addiction is in every demographic, every income, every community -- to treat those people, rehab them and get them to work. And also to make sure that the working poor have a system that makes sense, instead of showing up and getting all their healthcare in emergency rooms.
Now, that being said, I did not -- I've never been a supporter of ObamaCare. And the reason -- to give you an example, we refuse to run a state exchange because we didn't have the authority to make decisions.
On our Medicaid program, it grows by less than three percent. And it's been filled with innovation and it's because we run it.
INGRAHAM: Right. But, governor, the president -- right, but the president cited Medicaid expansion, Governor Kasich, as his big success story, thus far, in ObamaCare.
And he said, "Look, it doesn't get reported as such but this is a huge success story," that we're seeing all these people, new people enrolling in Medicaid across the states that are accepting the expansion money.
And he said, "We deserve credit for that." And he gave you some credit for that.
Isn't it a little bit tricky though as a conservative, because you're so great on budgetary matters, you were great up on The Hill and all the work you did there, when the federal government is spending money that, we know, the federal government really doesn't have to expand a program like this.
KASICH: Yes. Well, you know very well, Laura, that if I don't bring Ohio money back, they're not going to put it in a piggy bank. And I think it's critical that we're able to help people to help themselves, to get them to work.
Now, we promised the mentally-ill, when we took them out of the big institutions, that they would get help. Where are they now.
We have 10,000 in our prisons, many in our jails, many living on the streets. Conservatism means that you help people so they can help themselves, and that they can enter into the economic strength of our country.
Now, you'll have to separate that from the fact that the government was designing a program to take over our whole healthcare system --
KASICH: -- in the backrooms on Capitol Hill. I don't support that.
But there's a big distinction between Medicaid and our ability to bring our money back to fix our problems, as opposed to a government takeover of the healthcare system. So, I think it's not fair to draw distinction between the two.
INGRAHAM: They -- by 2023, the estimates are that the Medicaid money will triple. It's going to cost three times as much, about -- I guess it's $710 billion for the nationwide expansion.
That is a lot of money though, governor, right. And, again, I just cited all your past work on fiscal matters, and such a fiscal conservative.
INGRAHAM: I understand what you're saying.
KASICH: Well, that's right.
INGRAHAM: And every one wants compassion for the poor.
INGRAHAM: I get that. But we also have a real budget problem.