Republican senators heard from Republican governors Thursday on Capitol Hill in an effort to ease concerns that repealing the Affordable Care Act would decimate state budgets and leave individuals across the country without health insurance coverage.
.The governors laid out their own proposals for curbing Medicaid costs in their states, including the idea of limiting requirements for essential benefits packages.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) also floated the idea of reducing the number of people on Medicaid. The ACA insured people up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level through Medicaid; Kasich suggested covering people up to 100 percent of the federal poverty level, and then putting the rest on the exchanges
“Right now we cover people up to 138 percent of poverty. I think we ought to cover them up to 100. Let those above 100 go on the exchange,” Kasich said. “We can look at the benefits package the administration passed is just very expensive and it’s kept people who are younger from buying insurance. It’s another thing that can be looked at. That benefit package is, frankly, too rich.”
Kasich said he also was open to scrapping the exchange for tax credits, but he was clear he wanted to ensure the tax benefits were generous enough.
“If you put them on the exchange and you subsidize it or you give them a tax credit, at the end of the day,you still get the health care,” Kasich said.
Kaish said at the end of the day there had to be changes made to the ACA.
“I’m not out to make it difficult for people to get primary care and to get help, but we also have to measure it against ok what is really essential here,” Kasich said
When asked if he could guarantee that everyone covered under ACA wouldn’t lose their insurance in his state, Kasich was frank.
“I can’t guarantee anything. I’m down here trying to do my best to make sure we have a good plan,” he said before saying he was done talking.