GOP Sen. Rob Portman Of Ohio Under Pressure On Health Bill


"They can improve this bill even if they have to start over again, these Democrats should stand and challenge Republicans to negotiate with them", said Kasich.

"Kasich said he needs to ensure that the vulnerable people in his state receive the care they need".

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman faces intense pressure back home to oppose the Senate's GOP health care bill.

Unlike those conservative senators, some of whom would need to support the legislation for it to have any chance of passing in the Senate, Kasich said he has "deep concerns" about the bill because he believes it will take important government services away from people. "If people right now who have opioid-addiction treatment paid for, and the health care bill results in their loss of coverage, it means people could lose their lives".

"Unless it gets fixed, I would - look, I'm against it", Kasich told host Dana Bash on CNN's "State of the Union". He said the state's uninsured rate declined from 23 percent before the Affordable Care Act to 11 or 12 percent afterward.

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What the OH governor wanted to talk about was the effect on his state and others of the legislation, which he said was "not good enough to a closet somewhere". In 2024, the federal share of Medicaid spending would be slashed significantly down to levels similar to what had existed prior to the ACA's passage.

"My job is to be intellectually honest through this process and that's what I intend to do", said Kasich acknowledging he's been called a "sell-out" to his own party. Of the $940 million the state spends on those efforts each year, about $650 million is through Medicaid, including $279 million through the expansion. Most children, disabled people and parents with multiple children - the people Kasich said he's most concerned about - were already eligible for Medicaid if they needed it.

He added, "People of good intent can sit down and fashion a solution and begin a discussion on rising health care, it can be done and should be done in a bipartisan way".

Kasich also took the opportunity to remark on how rare the joint appearance between high-level politicians of different parties was in the current political environment.