Some GOP Guvs Express ‘Concerns’ About Senate Obamacare Repeal Bill

HOLD FOR SUNDAY, JAN. 15 – FILE – In this Nov. 10, 2016, file photo, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, following a ceremony where President Barack Obama honored the 2016 NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team, answers questions from reporters outside the West Wing of the White House in Washington. In the weeks before President-elect Donald Trump’s Jan. 20, 2017, inauguration, Kasich has emerged from a period of retreat after conceding his presidential ambitions for a second time. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

Former presidential candidate and Ohio Governor John Kasich said he has “deep concerns” about the new health care legislation that Senate Republicans made public Thursday, joining other GOP governors who aren’t thrilled about the Obamacare repeal bill.

I have deep concerns with details in the U.S. Senate’s plan to fix America’s health care system and the resources needed to help our most vulnerable, including those who are dealing with drug addiction, mental illness and chronic health problems and have nowhere else to turn,” he said in a statement Thursday afternoon.

“Sustainable solutions to the many complex problems facing our health care system will never be solved with a one-party approach that’s developed behind closed doors, without public discussion and input,” the statement continued. “I’m encouraging senators to step back and take a good, hard look at this important issue – and to reach across the aisle in working toward solutions. That’s the only way to address the flaws of Obamacare that we can all agree need to be fixed.”

Kasich is part of a bipartisan group of governors who put out a joint statement last week that denounced the House GOP’s Obamacare repeal bill and urged Senate Democrats and Republicans to work together on their own plan.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s (R) office put out a similar statement Thursday, saying this first draft of the Senate legislation “falls short” when it comes to funding Medicaid and supporting Massachusetts residents facing opioid addiction.

“Since Washington has started debating reforms to the health care law, Governor Baker has been clear that any changes must preserve our ability to provide quality health care coverage in Massachusetts and allow flexibility to responsibly manage programs like Medicaid,” Baker communication director Lizzy Guyton said in a statement. “And the administration is concerned that upon a first review, this version falls short and will result in significant funding losses for our state.”

“Governor Baker will keep working with other governors, the Congressional delegation and federal officials to advocate for solutions that work for Massachusetts, including protecting our waiver to support behavioral health and fighting the opioid epidemic and funding for Planned Parenthood.”

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, the other Republican governor who signed the letter to senators asking for a bipartisan approach to drafting a new health care plan, has yet to address the draft legislation.

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