Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich warned his party's lawmakers against repealing ObamaCare without a replacement on Wednesday, noting that Ohioans have gained coverage from the Medicaid expansion in his state.
Kasich, who ran for president last year, has long been a supporter of ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion, but his warning to Republicans about repeal on Wednesday was particularly forceful.
“There’s room for improvement, but to repeal and not to replace, I just want to know what’s going to happen to all those people who find themselves left out in the cold,” Kasich told reporters Wednesday, according to audio provided by his office.
He pointed to the roughly 700,000 people who have gained coverage under ObamaCare’s expansion of Medicaid in Ohio.
“Let’s just say they got rid of it and didn’t replace it with anything, what happens to those 700,000 people?” Kasich said. “What happens to drug treatment, what happens to mental health counseling?”
He even cast doubt on some Republican plans to replace the law, noting that there are still no details about a proposed tax credit to help people afford coverage as part of a replacement.
“Now there’s some talk that they would have some sort of a tax credit, OK, well how far does that go?” Kasich said. “There’s a lot of details to be worked out. It’s a serious matter.”
Kasich will be going to Washington on Jan. 19 to speak at a forum for governors about ObamaCare organized by Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee, an opportunity for Kasich to defend the Medicaid expansion.
Republican Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan also recently spoke out in favor of keeping the Medicaid expansion.
“I hope they carefully look at the success we’ve had in Michigan,” Snyder told the Detroit News, about Republicans in Washington.