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Today's Obamacare defenders: Republican Governors.

Not sure if the sender wants public credit or not, but a few Republican Goverors have some things to say about repealing the Affordable Care Act...especially Medicaid expansion:

Today, Republican Governors will meet with GOP Congressional leaders in DC to discuss – you guessed it –the Affordable Care Act. Medicaid expansion is a key factor in this discussion because, as Governors will tell you, Medicaid expansion is leading to lower uninsured rates, higher rates of care, and critical treatment for people fighting opioid use disorders. And if Republicans repeal the ACA without a replacement plan in the same bill, CBO would score a subsequent bill restoring Medicaid expansion funding as an almost $1 trillion spending increase over 10 years. Interestingly, a number of GOP Senators broke with their party on expansion related vote-a-rama measures last week, and Governors from both parties have spoken out about this issue, as well as about the dangers of repeal and delay.

ATTENDING TODAY’S MEETING WITH REPUBLICAN CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS:

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson (R): “We encourage you to look to Arkansas Works, our state’s new innovative approach to Medicaid expansion, as a model for programs that help individuals move up the economic ladder and off of Medicaid, while smoothing the transition into the commercial market.” [Letter to Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, 1/10/17]

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder (R)*: “The important thing is we need to let them know that Healthy Michigan [Michigan’s Medicaid expansion] is a model that can work for the rest of the country. We should be speaking out, and I look forward to working with my federal partners to talk about the value of this program and how it can even be enhanced.” [Detroit News, 1/18/17]

Ohio Governor John Kasich (R):Thank God we expanded Medicaid because that Medicaid money is helping to rehab people.”

“Let’s just say they got rid of it, didn’t replace it with anything. What happens to drug treatment? What happens to mental health counseling? What happens to these people who have very high cholesterol and are victims of heart attacks, what happens to them? There’s room for improvement, but to repeal and not to replace? I just want to know what’s going to happen to all those people who find themselves out in the cold.” [State News, 1/3/17]

Utah Governor Gary Herbert (R)*: “We urge Congress to act carefully and methodically on this issue. As of December 31, 2016, 186,093 Utahns had selected health insurance plans on healthcare.gov. According to the U.S. Census, since 2010, Utah’s uninsured rate dropped to 10.5 percent, down from 14 percent. As we work to re-craft healthcare in our country, we must be careful not to increase the rate of uninsured, particularly for our most vulnerable citizens.” [Letter to Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, 1/13/17]

MORE REPUBLICAN GOVERNORS

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R)*: “Consumer choice also is vital. Repealing the Affordable Care Act without a clear replacement could raise concerns among insurers nationwide and cause some to withdraw from the market, limiting consumer choice.”

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (R): “I don’t want to see any Arizonan have the rug pulled out from underneath them in terms of changing this law. We can take a little time to get there.” [Arizona Daily Star, 1/9/17]

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin (R): “If you're going to replace something, do it at the time that you’re repealing that which you're going to be replacing. To do this simultaneously, I think, makes great sense.” [Talking Points Memo, 1/10/17]

Massachusetts Governor Charles Baker (R): “In addition to expanding health care coverage, there are other important provisions contained within the Affordable Care Act. These include but are not limited to patient protections such as the ban on pre-existing conditions exclusions, elimination of annual or lifetime limits and gender inequities…Any changes to the Affordable Care Act must also take into account the impact changes would have on the Medicaid program…Proposals that suggest states may be provided with more flexibility and control must not result in substantial and destabilizing cost shift to states.” [Letter to Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, 1/11/17]

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval (R): “I chose to expand the Medicaid program, to require managed care for most enrollees and to implement a state based health insurance exchange…The implementation of these policy changes decreased Nevada’s uninsured rate from one of the worst in the country, 23%, to approximately 12%, making Nevada one of the most improved states in this regard…Going forward, we must ensure first that any new reforms do not mandate additional costs, and second, leverage the advancements already made and paid for under the ACA. Moreover, 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.” [Letter to Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, 1/5/17]

Also worth noting: Neither Utah nor Alabama have even expanded Medicaid...yet their governors still see the danger of "repeal & delay".

DEMOCRATIC GOVERNORS

California Governor Jerry Brown (D)*: “Don’t shift billions of dollars in costs to the states. That would be a very cynical way to prop up the federal budget – and devastating to millions of Americans.” [Letter to Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, 1/13/17]

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper (D): “We urge you to protect health care coverage for the over 600,000 Coloradans that have gained coverage under the Affordable Care Act…As a result of expanding Medicaid, Colorado has added an additional 31,000 jobs and household earnings are up more than $600 a year. Because of the progress Colorado has made, repealing the Affordable Care Act without an immediate replacement would be disastrous.” [Letter to Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, 1/4/17]

Hawaii Governor David Ige (D)*: “Medicaid expansion under the ACA has been one of the biggest milestones in health care reform.” [Letter to Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, 1/12/17]

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards (D): “To begin with, I must stress that the expansion of Medicaid is working in Louisiana. In just six months, nearly 375,000 Louisianans have gained health care coverage… Given its success in Louisiana and across the country, I strongly believe that any health care plan Congress considers must retain expansion to ensure access to coverage for the millions of working Americans who need it most.” [Letter to Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, 1/5/17]

Montana Governor Steve Bullock (D): “As a Democratic Governor in a state where Trump won by 22 points and where Republicans dominate the state legislature 91 to 59, Montanans are proud of the innovative, bipartisan work we have done to expand healthcare coverage to low-income working Montanans. Working together, we have dramatically reduced the number of uninsured, eased the burden of uncompensated care on our struggling rural hospitals, and improved access to primary care, preventive care, and mental health services in some of the most rural and remote areas of our country… Congress should not rip health care away from tens of millions of Montanans and millions of Americans without first presenting a real and viable alternative that protects patients and provides a foundation for states, healthcare providers, and insurers to responsibly plan for the future.” [Letter to Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, 12/19/16]

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D): "The cost of a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, to state and local budgets and to the New Yorkers who depend on its health care coverage, is simply too high to justify…New York’s counties have been able to use the additional federal Medicaid funding through the Affordable Care Act, which goes to directly to counties and helps to lower property taxes. A repeal of the Affordable Care Act would result in a total loss of $595 million in funding.” [Letter to Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, 1/3/17]

Oregon Governor Kate Brown (D): “Slashing Medicaid funding, eliminating financial help for private plans, and imposing meager caps on benefits are not solutions for the remaining imperfections in America’s health care system. Such measure, particularly if implemented without well-thought-out alternatives, would put hundreds of thousands of Oregonians at physical and financial risk and drive up uncompensated care.” [Letter to Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, 1/3/17]

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (D): “Americans need real, meaningful health care coverage. They need options that are affordable, easy to understand, responsive to their needs, and available immediately – with no lapse in coverage.” [Letter to Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, 12/20/16]

“In the first year of Pennsylvania’s Medicaid expansion, almost 63,000 newly eligible Medicaid enrollees accessed drug and alcohol treatment. Demands on the treatment system are growing by the day but Medicaid expansion has opened the door to treatment that otherwise would not be available, much less affordable, to those without insurance.” [Letter to Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, 12/20/16]

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin (D):“Thanks to Obamacare, 25,000 Vermonters who didn't have health insurance now do, over 20,000 Vermonters are receiving financial help to make insurance more affordable, and our state's uninsured rate has been driven down to 2.7 percent. If you can come up with a plan that ensures all those things remain true, let's talk. Until then, I beg you to keep your hands off our Obamacare.” [Letter to Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, 11/30/16]

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (D): “The ACA has also had a positive impact on Virginia’s State Budget…The consequences of unmet health care needs and unpaid hospital bills are devastating for families in Virginia.” [Letter to Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, 12/30/16]

Washington Governor Jay Inslee (D): “It would be a moral outrage to repeal the health care policies that are so beneficial to millions of Washingtonians without providing an alternative system to make sure all our families continue to have access to affordable care.” [Letter to Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, 12/9/16]