US governors from both parties oppose Trumpcare bill
US governors, Republican and Democrats, have criticized a proposed healthcare bill meant to replace Obamacare.
Vice President Mike Pence told a bipartisan gathering of governors on Friday that he and President Donald Trump believe the revised healthcare bill proposed to the US Senate for approval is the “right bill at the right time to begin the end of Obamacare.”
“The president said he wanted a health care system that in his words is far less expensive and far better,” the Republican vice president said during a conference of the National Governors Association. “We believe the Senate healthcare bill begins to make the president’s vision a reality.”
In response, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat, said Republicans in Congress are “still trying to put lipstick on a pig. But guess what: It’s still a pig.”
Republican Brian Sandoval of Nevada said the latest Republican bill was of “great concern.”
Fellow Republican Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas expressed concern, as well.
Both said they worried about Congress shifting costs to the states to maintain the same level of Medicaid coverage they have committed to.
Nevada and Arkansas are among the 31 states that expanded Medicaid under the Obama-era law, adding coverage for roughly 11 million Americans.
Sandoval said Pence had some very positive things to say about the effort to make the bill better.
Pence urged governors to support the plan, which was written by Republicans and would make major changes to the signature domestic policy of former President Barack Obama, a Democrat.
“I want to challenge each one of you to work together with this administration, to give the American people access to the world-class health care they deserve,” he said.
Meanwhile, several Democratic governors met Friday to publicly criticize the revised healthcare bill and talk about how unwinding the Medicaid expansion created by the Affordable Care Act would hurt their states.
Democratic Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo said she planned to voice strong opposition to Pence.
“There’s a high degree of anxiety,” she said. “Even Republican governors will say that they’re worried, especially the ones that have taken the Medicaid expansion.”
Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell plans to keep in place Medicaid cuts that Republican governors and Senate moderates have objected to. No Democrats support the plan.
A governors-only session on Saturday will give them a chance to ask questions of US Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma.
Major cuts to Medicaid, the state-federal insurance program for the poor, the disabled and nursing home residents, is a key sticking point for many governors, especially those in states that expanded it under Obama’s healthcare law.