Kasich: It’s a ‘bad idea’ to phase out Medicaid expansion

Calling it a “very, very bad idea,” Gov. John Kasich sharply criticized a House Republican plan to phase out federal health spending for a program Kasich has used to provide health coverage for 700,000 low-income people in Ohio.

Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday as he attended an international security conference in Munich, Kasich said “we cannot turn our back on the most vulnerable,” saying he was “not going to sit silent and just allow them to rip that out.”

Kasich was referring to an expansion of Medicaid, a joint federal and state program dating to 1965 that provides health care for the poor. The 2010 health law, known as Obamacare, funneled hundreds of millions of additional Medicaid dollars to the states to expand coverage to millions of low-income people across the country.

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Last week, House Republicans circulated a memo on scrapping Obamacare that would include phasing out the additional federal dollars Kasich used to expand Medicaid coverage in Ohio.

“There are 700,000 Ohioans who now get care who didn’t have it before, a third of whom have either mental illness and need to be treated or drug addiction,” Kasich said.

“And to turn our back on them makes no sense,” Kasich said. “Now, I believe there is an ability to reform, to repeal and replace Obamacare which also includes a reform of Medicaid that will make the program more affordable.

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