Although many Republicans in Congress have been repeatedly calling “Repeal Obamacare”, GOP governors in many U.S. states have quietly come to terms with the law’s major Medicaid expansion. Sadly, even if their party would win control of Senate in November’s elections, it seems like the law is simply not going away.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich told reporters in an interview on Monday that the repeal of President Obama’s signature health law is simply “not gonna happen”:
“The opposition to it was really either political or ideological. I don’t think that holds water against real flesh and blood, and real improvements in people’s lives.”
the governor said.
However, only hours after his interview, the governor changed course on Twitter, claiming that The Associated Press had gotten it wrong and that his aims is still to replace Obamacare. One of Kasich’s spokesmen then added that the governor had only referred to Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion (not the law entirely) and that reporters had taken his words out of context.
“The AP got it wrong. Ohio said NO to the Obamacare exchange for a reason. As always, my position is that we need to repeal and replace.”
the governor commented from his Twitter account.
Governor Kasich angered conservatives when he decided to bypass Ohio’s Republican-controlled legislature and accept Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion last year. His current comments only reflect his attempt at a political balancing act as GOP governors criticize the law but have been forced to implement either parts or all of it.
Other lawmakers have attempted to find a middle ground, hoping that a reviewed version of the Medicaid expansion (that would include individual health savings accounts with personal contributions) could be acceptable.
Wisconsin’s Scott Walker and Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal, however, have continued to be outspoken opponents of Obamacare and refused the law’s implementation.
In those states that have expanded Medicaid, lawmakers such as Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate, have pressed their republican opponents about what would happen to those citizens with low-incomes who now have health coverage.
“We have over a half a million Kentuckians who for the first time ever are filling prescriptions, they’re going to the doctor, they’re getting checkups. I will not be a senator that rips that insurance from their hands.”
Grimes said in a recent debate with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell.
Three more governors are currently negotiating with the Democratic administration in Washington, but, rather than demanding a repeal, the governors have searched for federal concessions that would make their decisions more politically acceptable.