Kasich: I have ‘deep concerns’ about Senate health plan

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Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) is expressing “deep concerns” about the Senate GOP’s healthcare plan, as governors across the country grapple with potential changes to ObamaCare’s expansion of Medicaid.

“I have deep concerns with the details of the U.S. Senate’s plan to fix America’s health care system and the resources needed to help our most vulnerable, including those who are dealing with drug addiction, mental illness, and chronic health problems and have no where else to turn,” Kasich said in a statement.

Governors of states such as Ohio that have benefitted from ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion have voiced concerns about GOP healthcare reform efforts.

ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion covers about 11 million people in 31 states. The Senate GOP bill unveiled Thursday would phase out the expansion over four years, ending in 2024.

Kasich’s comments came a week after he joined Democratic governors in a letter urging a bipartisan approach to healthcare reform.

Other governors included Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D), Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D), Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R), Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D), Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D).

“While we certainly agree that reforms need to be made to our nation’s health care system, as Governors from both sides of the political aisle, we feel that true and lasting reforms are best approached by finding common ground in a bipartisan fashion,” the governors said in a letter to members of both parties in the Senate.

“I joined GOP & Dem. governors in opposing Medicaid cuts, but we have been shut out of the process & unable to give our residents a voice,” Wolf tweeted Thursday as Senate Republicans released a draft of their healthcare legislation.

“Not a single hearing is scheduled on this bill before the Senate votes,” Edwards said in a statement, calling for Senate leaders to offer “a more open, inclusive and bipartisan approach to health care reform.”

Bullock called the Senate healthcare draft “exactly what’s wrong with Washington, DC.”

“The Senate’s health care bill, like the House bill, will take Colorado backward. It makes even deeper cuts to health care for the most vulnerable and shifts the costs onto hard working middle class Coloradans,” Hickenlooper said statement.

The Hill has reached out to Baker and Sandoval for comment.

Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) said he plans to discuss the bill with his state’s governor before making a decision. 

“I will read it, share it with Governor Sandoval, and continue to listen to Nevadans to determine the bill’s impact on our state. I will also post it to my website so that any Nevadans who wish to review it can do so. As I have consistently stated, if the bill is good for Nevada, I’ll vote for it and if it’s not – I won’t,” Heller said in a statement.

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