John Kasich on Senate Republicans' health care bill: 'Are you kidding me?'

WASHINGTON — Ohio Gov. John Kasich ripped Senate Republicans on Tuesday for crafting a health care bill that would cause an estimated 22 million Americans to lose their health insurance.

“They think that’s great? That’s good public policy?” an incredulous Kasich said at a news conference in Washington on Tuesday. “What, are you kidding me?”

Kasich was referring to an analysis released Monday by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which estimated that the Senate GOP bill to repeal and replace Obamacare would increase the ranks of the uninsured by 22 million by 2026, compared to current law.

Kasich has made his opposition to the GOP bill clear before, but Tuesday he ratcheted up his criticism at a joint news conference with Colorado Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Kasich said congressional Republicans should try getting health care through Medicaid or purchasing insurance with the miserly subsidies the GOP plan offers.

“Why don’t we have those folks go and live under … Medicaid for a while?” Kasich said. “Why don’t we have them go live on their exchange where they can get two, three, four thousand dollars a year to cover their health care exchange costs.”

Kasich didn’t reserve all his ire for his own party. He also blasted lawmakers of all stripes for acting like a bunch of fifth-graders.

“We have a health care civil war going on,” he said. “It’s all about recrimination.”

He said Republicans should jettison their current bill and “start over,” while Democrats should “stand and challenge the Republicans to negotiate with them.”

Democrats have said they would work with Republicans to fix Obamacare if they stop their efforts to repeal or gut the law.

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