Kasich: GOP lawmakers should side with dems on Obamacare repeal

Sarah Hurtubise, DCNF

Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a stalwart supporter of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, thinks the congressional effort to repeal the health care law needs to shift left to court Democrats instead of conservative members of the GOP.

Screenshot-Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich

Kasich was the first Republican governor to expand Medicaid in his own state and is vocally pushing Congress to preserve the extra federal funding for broadened Medicaid eligibility during Obamacare repeal.

“There’s going to be a problem in the House of getting anything out of there that still provides coverage to people,” Kasich said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday. “That’s why the Republicans have to reach out to some of the Democrats. I don’t know whether this is going to happen.”

“I think there are some very conservative Republicans in the House who are going to say, ‘just get rid of the whole thing,’” Kasich said. “That’s not acceptable when you have 20 million people, or 700,000 people in my state” who have gained coverage.

Repealing the health care law without a replacement at the same time would be a “political impossibility,” Kasich said.

Kasich also concluded that former House Speaker John Boehner was “pretty close” in his assessment that Congress won’t end up repealing the basic “framework” of the Affordable Care Act.

The Ohio Republican met with President Donald Trump on Friday and discussed the Medicaid issue. Kasich reported that he’s optimistic.

“He listened very carefully to what I have to say about it,” Kasich said.

House Freedom Caucus leader Rep. Jim Jordan is part of the conservative wing pushing back against efforts to keep large swaths of the health-care law in place.

“We didn’t tell the American people we are going to repeal it, except we are going to keep the Medicaid expansion,” Jordan said Sunday on ABC. “We told them we will repeal it and replace it with a market-centered, patient-centered plan that actually brings back affordable health insurance.”

Others say there’s not much chance of a more moderate Obamacare repeal gaining traction with Democrats.

“No Democrat would help rip up a health care law when resisting results in protecting it. While lots of Democrats are willing to help fix and improve it, none are willing to help repeal and destroy it,” a Democratic strategist told Axios.

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