Gov. Kasich and Vice President Pence Spar Over New Senate Medicaid Plan

Jul 17, 2017

Kasich has withheld his support for the GOP dismantling of Obamacare because of steep cuts in Medicaid expansion.
Credit KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The newest version of the U.S. Senate’s plan to overhaul the Affordable Care Act is creating a rift between the vice president and Gov. John Kasich. The state’s Republican senator may be caught in the middle.

Kasich says the cuts to Medicaid in the Senate bill are too deep and that th ebill fails to give states the ability to innovate in order to cope with those reductions. He called it “unacceptable," which drew a reaction from Vice President Mike Pence.

Pence told the National Governors Association on Friday that Ohio has 60,000 disabled people on waiting lists. Kasich’s spokesman blasted that on Twitter as “fake news," saying those people are actually waiting for Medicaid waivers.

This potentially puts Republican Sen. Rob Portman in a tough spot. He’s said he’s undecided on the bill. And this spat comes at an interesting time – Pence is headlining the Ohio Republican Party’s annual state dinner on Saturday.