As Congressional Republicans begin work on repealing the Affordable Care Act, many of the nation’s governors want to make sure that their state budgets don’t take a hit during the dismantling process.
They’re most concerned about Medicaid, the health insurance program for the poor that’s run jointly by the states and federal government. As a result of a Supreme Court decision, states were allowed to decide whether they would expand Medicaid under the ACA. 14 million people have gained health insurance coverage through Medicaid since eligibility for the program was expanded.
While 19 states declined the expansion, primarily due to the opposition of Republican governors and lawmakers, several Republican governors did choose to expand the program. Now they’re lobbying to keep their citizens covered and billions of dollars of federal Medicaid money flowing.
Among them is Ohio Gov. John Kasich who, along with several other Republican governors, met with GOP members of the Senate Finance Committee last week for a closed-door discussion about the healthcare law.
Kasich has been anything but quiet on the subject.
In a letter to Congressional leaders, Kasich recommended that Medicaid expansion not be repealed, while indicating he’s open to some changes, such as in income eligibility. Kasich urged Congress in an op-ed on Time.com to pass an Obamacare replacement at the same time as a repeal.
“For the millions of Americans who have gained health coverage since 2010, it’s safe to assume that their idea of fixing Obamacare does not involve ripping away their own health care coverage without a responsible alternative in place,” wrote Kasich.