Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) lectured congressional leaders of his party on Sunday for being shortsighted, disingenuous and, ultimately, doomed to be forgotten by history if they persist with their approach to health-care legislation.
“Sometimes my party asks too much,” Kasich said on ABC's “This Week,” saying he and others would not be fooled by “efforts to try to buy people off” with little fixes to the Senate bill to increase spending to combat opioid addiction or give more financial support to low-income people seeking health coverage.
This is not the first time that Kasich has criticized the GOP for the health-care legislation it is trying to shepherd through Congress. Last month, he joined with two other Republican governors and four Democratic governors to urge the Senate not to reduce Medicaid coverage — which the Senate bill contracts.
But Kasich stressed Sunday that “it's not just Medicaid, and the fact that there's not enough money in Medicaid legitimately to treat people” that has prompted his opposition to the bill.
“It’s the whole thing,” he said. “It's the entire package, which I believe can and should be fixed.”
The sins of the health-care package Kasich has identified go right to the heart of the bill, he said. If the Obamacare exchanges are collapsing, he stressed, “you can't also give people three or four thousand dollars a year and think they can buy an insurance policy.”
“What kind of insurance policy can you buy at three or four thousand dollars a year?” Kasich asked.
He also said that the latest proposal to inject the effort with money to combat opioid abuse — $45 billion over 10 years — was “anemic. It's like spitting in the ocean. It's not enough.”
Kasich didn't reserve his harsh words only for the GOP — he criticized Democrats, too, and politicians generally as being slaves to their party instead of working to improve the country.
“No one will ever remember you” if you don't put the country first, Kasich warned members of Congress.
“Right now, they don’t want to concede anything,” he concluded. “Right now, they’re not ready, they are not ready to sit down and put the nation first in my opinion.”
Notably, Kasich did not direct the same sort of criticism at President Trump, who he suggested would be open to negotiations with Democrats.
“I think he’d be fine with it,” the governor said, noting that Trump is a real estate businessman and that “negotiation is part of their DNA.”