Five Republican governors are breaking from their party to urge Congress not to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Govs. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, Rick Snyder of Michigan, John Kasich of Ohio, Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas and Brian Sandoval of Nevada are pushing to keep the set of health care laws, often called Obamacare, after accepting federal funds to expand Medicaid in their states, reports Politico.
"Let's just say they just got rid of [Obamacare], didn't replace it with anything," said Kasich, a former GOP presidential candidate, according to Politico. "What happens to the 700,000 people [who received coverage under it]? What happens to drug treatment? What happens to mental health counseling? What happens to these people who have very high cholesterol and are victims from a heart attack? What happens to them?"
A total of 16 GOP governors, out of 31 total, took federal money for Medicaid programs in their states.
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"You must ensure that individuals, families, children, aged, blind, disabled and mentally ill are not suddenly left without the care they need to live healthy, productive lives," Sandoval said.
On Jan. 13, House Republicans easily passed an initiative along party lines to begin repealing Obamacare, reports Reuters. The Senate approved a similar bill the day before. No Democrats voted in favor of the measure, while nine Republicans opposed it.
"I think all [Kasich and Snyder] are doing is what a good lobbyist is supposed to do which is explain the facts," Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania told The Huffington Post. "We are telling our delegations, 'Here are the facts. This is what is going to happen. Are you willing to face those consequences if you do this?'"
Like the five Republican governors, Wolf has met with constituents and health care officials and has sent letters to his congressional delegations in an effort to spread information that would halt the ACA repeal.
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"All of this is going to add into a real fight," former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, who worked as Health and Human Services secretary under President George W. Bush, told Politico. "Until they get to that end result, there's going to be a lot of sharp elbows."