Kasich Puts Portman On The Spot By Torching Obamacare Repeal Bill

Johnny Louis/SIPPL Sipa USA

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) released a statement Friday torching the revised Senate bill that would largely repeal the Affordable Care Act and made deep cuts to Medicaid, calling the legislation “unacceptable” and calling on senators to start over with a truly bipartisan process.

Kasich’s strong opposition makes life even harder for Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), who says he is currently undecided on the bill as a vote approaches. Portman previously said he has “real concerns” about the bill’s cuts to Medicaid, which would hit Ohio and other Medicaid expansion states particularly hard. The revised version of the bill keeps those cuts in place.

Kasich is one of several Republican governors in states that expanded Medicaid who are working to stop the passage of the Senate bill, leaning on their state’s senators to vote now. On Thursday, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), vented his frustration at these governors’ opposition to these cuts to the social safety net.

“Are you kidding me?” he said in exasperation. “I’m sure every governor would love for us to send free, un-paid for money back home. But I’m sorry, if governors were where we were, looking at an unsustainable situation, trillions of dollars in debt, they would be looking at the same reforms. If we cannot cause our governors to play an appropriate role, an appropriate partnership. … It’s not appropriate right now.”


Alice Ollstein is a reporter at Talking Points Memo, covering national politics. She graduated from Oberlin College in 2010 and has been reporting in DC ever since, covering the Supreme Court, Congress and national elections for TV, radio, print, and online outlets. Her work has aired on Free Speech Radio News, All Things Considered, Channel News Asia, and Telesur, and her writing has been published by The Atlantic, La Opinión, and The Hill Rag. She was elected in 2016 as an at-large board member of the DC Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Alice grew up in Santa Monica, California and began working for local newspapers in her early teens.