Ohio Gov. John Kasich: GOP-passed health bill falls 'woefully' short

Ohio Gov. John Kasich said the health care bill passed by House Republicans Thursday "remains woefully short" when it comes to helping vulnerable Ohioans.

A Republican who ran for president in 2016, Kasich has been outspoken in his opposition to previous versions of the bill, which would have curtailed the expansion of Medicaid he embraced as governor.

"While there have been some modest changes to this bill, it sill remains woefully short on the necessary resources to maintain health care for our nation's most vulnerable citizens," he said in a Tweeted statement.

He said he hopes the Senate finds a "more practical, sustainable solution."

In 2013, Kasich maneuvered around many of Ohio's Republican lawmakers to expand Medicaid in his state as part of President Obama's health care law. This year, as the GOP discussed repealing and replacing Obamacare, Kasich advocated against canceling Medicaid expansion outright.

More than 700,000 Ohioans signed up for Medicaid coverage under Obamacare. The health care law offered the government-paid health care to adults with annual incomes of up to 138 percent of the federal poverty guidelines – up to $16,643 for a single person using 2017 figures.

MORE | Local and Ohio lawmakers react to House repeal of Obamacare

The federal government currently covers most of the cost of their health care. Without that help, Ohio would face two options: trying to scrape together taxpayer money to give those people health care coverage, or leaving them to find and pay for their own insurance coverage.

House Republicans made good on their years-long promise Thursday to pass legislation repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, narrowly approving a controversial bill that would unravel many of the law’s popular consumer protections, do away with the individual mandate, and overhaul the insurance market.

The final tally — 217 to 213 — reflected sharp divisions over the GOP’s proposal, which is a long way from becoming law but still represents a huge victory for House Republican leaders and the Trump administration. The GOP has struggled for months to cobble together legislation that would garner the required 216 votes from its own fractured conference.

Chrissie Thompson and Deirdre Shesgreen contributed

The Cincinnati Enquirer


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