Kasich, Sanders say Senate needs to fix version of health care bill

Posted at 3:31 PM, Jun 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-25 20:35:35-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio Gov. John Kasich says the U.S. Senate needs to fix its version of a bill to overhaul the American Care Act with bipartisan cooperation.

Kasich appeared Sunday morning on CNN's "State of the Union," where he repeated his criticism that the Senate's version of the overhaul will "significantly" curtail Medicaid funding and could harm treatment for the mentally ill, the chronically ill and those who are drug addicted.

Sen. Bernie Sanders also weighed in on the bill. He visited Ohio Sunday as part of his "don't take our health care" rally. Sanders called the bill the most “anti-working class legislation ever passed in the modern history of our country."

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Under Obamacare, insurers must provide 10 essential health benefits, like maternity and mental health, but the Senate health care bill would allow states to seek waivers of this provision, opening the door for insurers to offer less comprehensive policies.

"We will not allow 23 million Americans to be thrown off insurance they currently have in order to give 500 billion dollars in tax breaks to the wealthy,” Sanders said.

Sen. Rob Portman released a statement that said, “If the final legislation is good for Ohio, I will support it. If not, I will oppose it.”

Hamilton County GOP Chair Alex Triantafilou echoed the same sentiment. He said he has a “wait and see” attitude with the current bill.

“(I’ll) See how the bill is scored, what it's going to cost and whether it does enough to protect Ohio families,” Triantafilou said.

The bill would repeal Obamacare’s individual mandate, cut back on Medicaid funding and eliminate taxes on the wealthy.

Kasich said the Senate's phase out of Medicaid expansion is an improvement. He said the legislation shouldn't be rushed and that talks need to be transparent with both political parties working together to write a bill that's sustainable.

Kasich called the current political climate the "craziest" he has seen and decried the country’s lack of political leadership.

The bill is opposed by four Republican Senators, including Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

But Triantafilou said the bill will help fix health care in America.

“The structure of Obamacare needs repair, even Democrats think that. So, do I think this will be good? In the long term, yes,” he said. “I think that we'll come up with a bill that is able to protect Ohio, protect citizens and also fix what is a broken Obamacare system."

Hamilton County's GOP chair says he's confident Republicans will find a way to pass the bill.

The bill could be voted on before the July 4 recess.