Kasich: Neither party 'cares about helping poor people'

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The Republican second-term governor said the Senate's phase out of Medicaid expansion is an improvement.

John Kasich delivered a harsh critique of the partisan fight over health care Sunday on CNN, telling "State of the Union" host Dana Bash: "I don't think either party particularly cares about helping poor people".

Kasich said while he feels the bill is "inadequate" in addressing the needs of millions of Americans who stand to lose coverage under the Better Care Reconciliation Act, he called on Democrats to work constructively with Republicans to come with a sustainable solution.

Kasich said the bill should not pass in its current form. Everything we're talking about now - getting people healthy, giving them health care - is created to get them to work.

Unlike those conservative senators, some of whom would need to support the legislation for it to have any chance of passing in the Senate, Kasich said he has "deep concerns" about the bill because he believes it will take important government services away from people.

The House had proposed "guardrails" giving legislators more say in the program's spending such as requiring the Ohio Department of Medicaid to request expansion funding twice a year from the Ohio Controlling Board, a joint legislative-budget office panel that oversees state spending.

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"I don't think we have enough leadership", he continued.

The conference committee, consisting of four Republicans and two Democrats, delayed the start of its work until later in the evening.

And if Democrats choose not to, then "shame on them" for playing "party politics". "Are they going to be served by this bill in the future?' My conclusion right now is no", he said.

"And I looked at them and thought, 'Are these people being served?"

Portman said in a statement that he's repeatedly said the Affordable Care Act, often called "Obamacare", wasn't working.

Asked about the criticism he's gotten for breaking with conservatives on Medicaid expansion, Kasich responded, "My job is to be intellectually honest through this process, and that's what I intend to do". He specifically pointed to people who were making a little more than $16,000 per year.

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