Republican governors say there’s a bigger risk in doing nothing with Obamacare, because it’s already imploding.
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin said he’s puzzled his predecessor, Steve Beshear, will be delivering the Democratic response to President Donald Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress.
Democrats have touted Beshear for making Obamacare work in Kentucky. Bevin said that’s not the case.
“He unilaterally chose to expand Medicaid in Kentucky, enrolled hundreds of thousands of people, and the result has been a remarkable decline in access to health care coverage,” Bevin told reporters at the White House Monday.
“More people covered, but covered by what?” Bevin asked, rhetorically. “Fewer people are even able to see a doctor, in 50 percent of our counties there is only a single health [insurer]. There are only three in the entire state, and only one covers the entire state. So it hasn’t been successful anywhere, including Kentucky.”
The National Governors Association held its winter meeting over the weekend. Governors met with Trump Sunday evening and Monday morning. Afterward, several Republican governors addressed the media.
Trump will talk more about the plans for repeal and replace during his address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, the chairman of the Republican Governors Association, said he didn’t want to get ahead of the president on details.
“The timeline is right now. That’s why the president and the vice president and the administration is all hands on deck,” Walker told The Daily Signal. “This is an important issue because I don’t think we can reiterate enough, Obamacare is collapsing. The Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable, and not me or any of these governors here, but a Democratic governor said that last year. It is collapsing right now and to show compassion [toward] our fellow citizens, we’ve got to do something about it. That’s why we’re on top of it. We’re going to hear the president’s vision tomorrow.”
Walker was referring to Minnesota’s Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton, who said last year that Obamacare was no longer affordable. Walker also noted that former President Bill Clinton said last year that Obamacare wasn’t working.
Trump addressed the governors earlier Monday, where he spoke about his budget proposal. He said that before proposing tax cuts, he would have to fix health care.
“We have to do health care before we do the tax cut,” Trump said. “The tax cut is going to be major. It will be simple, and the whole tax plan will be wonderful, but I can’t do it until I do health care because we have to know what the health care is going to cost … Obamacare is a failed disaster.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., also met with the president at the White House Monday afternoon about addressing Obamacare.