Republican Governors Weigh in On Healthcare Reform
As the Senate considers the American Health Care Act, the bill passed by the House of Representatives to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, a group of roughly a dozen governors from across the U.S. began pushing for their own reforms.
The governors, led by Governor John Kasich of Ohio, are supporting a nine-page plan that outlines what they believe an Obamacare replacement should look like. Their proposed changes include keeping the expansion the Medicaid in place, allowing new states to expand if they choose to and capping federal spending on certain populations via block grants or per capita caps. States would also have the ability to phase in other groups – like parents or children – to per capita caps or block grants.
The proposal also recommends reducing federal regulations on states and state Medicaid programs.
Governors from Utah, Tennessee, Michigan, Arizona, Illinois, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Nevada, and more support the groups, and are now reaching out to their democratic counterparts to form a bipartisan coalition propose reforms for the individual insurance marketplace. Their goal is to make insurance more and affordable and stabilize the market.
The group of governors, facing growing pressure from their constituents who are afraid of losing their coverage, hopes that their influence can reach the Senate, who is currently working on revisions to the House-approved version. While many groups – from individuals to major insurers – are hoping to influence the Senate, governors have an advantage over the rest. Ultimately, the governors will be responsible for implementing whatever change arise, and giving more power to the states to choose what is best for their residents has been a consistent theme of the opposition to the ACA.
Kasich recently called the House version of the bill “inadequate,” and would leave millions of people without affordable coverage and “living in the emergency rooms again.”
These governors are responding to the growing outcry against the republican healthcare plan. While members of the House have to respond to needs of their smaller districts, senators and governors are elected — and ultimately accountable to — their entire states. The incentive to please your small conservative base by repealing the ACA is not felt as strongly by senators and governors who will be held responsible by the entire state.
While a representative will be held accountable by their constituents who lose their coverage, this number will be smaller than everyone from every district who loses coverage.
It will be senators and governors who will take the blame when children — who make up a quarter of the U.S. population, but half of the Medicaid population — begin losing coverage when the AHCA cuts Medicaid spending by an estimated $880 billion. It will be the senators and congressmen a self-employed individual or individual working for a small business thinks about when they lose their coverage from the exchange. According to a new finding from UC Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research and Education, one in five small business employees and self-employed Californians relied on ACA coverage in 2015.
Simply put, the AHCA fails children and employers a like. The best way to protect yourself, and your employees, and ensure everyone receives the health coverage they need, is to educate yourself on the topic. The Certified Healthcare Reform Specialist designation is here to help you. With regular AHCA updates presented by experts in the field, you will always have the most recent information at your fingertips.