John Kasich Releases Obamacare Stabilization Package with John Hickenlooper

John Kasich and John Hickenlooper

Ohio Gov. John Kasich released a bipartisan Obamacare stabilization plan with Colorado Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper as Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker continues to push for an alternative plan to repeal and replace Obamacare through block grants.

Kasich and Hickenlooper’s bipartisan plan to stabilize Obamacare would keep Obamacare’s insurance subsidies, create an annual $15 billion stability fund, and retain the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate until Congress can create an alternative means to encourage young and healthy Americans to purchase health insurance through the Obamacare markets.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently revealed that repealing the individual mandate would result in 15 million Americans choosing to no longer purchase health insurance through the Obamacare exchanges.

Kasich and Hickenlooper wrote in their letter to Congress:

[B]ut for the time being it is perhaps the most important incentive for healthy people to enroll in coverage. Until Congress comes up with a better solution — or states request waivers to implement a workable alternative — the individual mandate is necessary to keep markets stable in the short term.

The governors have also called for continuing the Obamacare insurance subsidies known as the cost-sharing reduction program. The Obamacare subsidies will cost $7 billion in 2017. President Donald Trump threatened to remove these payments to insurance companies so that they could understand the pain the average American faces under the Affordable Care Act.

Independent Alaska Gov. Bill Walker, Republican Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, Democratic Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, Louisiana Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards, Pennsylvania Governor Democratic Governor Tom Wolf, and Virginia Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe all support the Obamacare stabilization package. Kasich and Hickenlooper have labeled this Obamacare stabilization package as “bipartisan,” although the stabilization package letter remains dominated by Democratic governors.

Kasich’s plan released ahead of a series of bipartisan hearings starting next week led by Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and ranking member Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) to stabilize the Obamacare individual insurance market. Gov. Hickenlooper will testify before these Senate hearings and will push for his plan to stabilize the individual market.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview that he supports former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum’s plan to repeal and replace Obamacare through block grants. Santorum, along with a coalition of other Republicans such as Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and House Freedom Caucus Chairman (R-NC) Mark Meadows hope to gather 25 Republican governors to support their Obamacare repeal and replace plan.

Four Republicans governors — Scott Walker, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, and Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant — support the plan.

Despite rumors, Kasich recently denied he was mulling a 2020 presidential bid with Hickenlooper.

“Chuck, look, Kasich/Hickenlooper. You couldn’t — first of all, you couldn’t pronounce it. And secondly, you couldn’t fit it on a bumper sticker,” Kasich told host of NBC’s Meet the Press Chuck Todd.

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