"Health care policy is only partisan in the abstract," Gov. John Kasich wrote in a New York Times op-ed Tuesday. "When you or your loved one is sick and needs care, ideology is irrelevant; getting well is all that matters."
In the 800-word piece, Kasich responded to the one-two punch of legislative failures experienced by congressional Republicans this week -- first the death of the Senate’s Better Care Reconciliation Act, then the swift implosion of a push to repeal the Affordable Care Act without a replacement ready -- by calling for a measured, bipartisan approach to improving the nation’s health care system.
Kasich, frequently at odds with the Trump administration on a personal and policy level, was one of the most outspoken Republican opponents of the Better Care Reconciliation Act in its waning days. He and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper called for a rewrite in June, and he repeatedly cited what he believed was inadequate treatment for recovering drug users as a reason he could not support the legislation.
That concern appeared again in the op-ed alongside criticism of the impact the ACA had on insurance exchanges, which Kasich said should be the first focus of a bipartisan effort to repair health care policy before Congress attempted to cut Medicaid.
"The best next step is for members of both parties to ignore the fear of criticism that can come from reaching across the aisle and put pencil to pad on these and other ideas that repair health care in real, sustainable ways," he wrote.