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Rauner won’t say where he stands on “repeal and replace”

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017

* From Governing Magazine on Friday

In the early morning hours on Thursday, U.S. Senate Republicans jammed a provision through that will speed up the process of repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), President Obama’s signature health reform law.

Congressional Republicans voted to repeal Obamacare dozens of times throughout the last few years, but the threat of a presidential veto always stood in their way. With Donald Trump’s election giving Republicans full control of Congress and the White House, though, the debate has largely become not whether Obamacare will be repealed — but how quickly the law will be replaced and what will appear in its place.

Of the 31 states that adopted one of Obamacare’s biggest provisions, Medicaid expansion, 16 of them have Republican governors. If that provision isn’t part of the replacement plan, states would likely lose millions of dollars in federal funding for health care. Even if Medicaid expansion is carried over into the new plan, millions of low-income people could lose health insurance if there’s a gap between repealing and replacing the law.

That puts many Republican governors, some of whom have long criticized the ACA, in a tough spot and for many, up against their Republican counterparts in Congress. On Thursday, GOP governors will discuss Medicaid with members of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.

They go on to list where various governors stand, but Illinois isn’t on the list. I asked the governor’s press office for a response the other day and haven’t heard back.

* That meeting between GOP governors and members of the Finance Committee is in two days, so Gov. Rauner was asked about what he wants for Illinois out of the ACA repeal/replace actions…

There are a lot of changes being proposed. I think it’s too early to say. We’re having conversations [with] the federal administration. There’s disagreement within Congress, there’s disagreement between the Trump administration and congressional leaders about what to do. This is going to take some sorting out.

Rauner was asked whether it wasn’t important for him and other governors “to say ‘This is what will hurt us, this is what will not,’ and speak out about it?”

* Rauner’s response…

Well, we’re having conversations. And I am working with other governors around the country. We’ll speak louder if we have a joint voice. One governor’s voice isn’t as much in a federal administration as many governors. So we’re talking with other governors and administrations, we’re talking with the federal government directly. These are conversations that would be inappropriate for me to, you know, talk too much about specific ideas through the press. That’s not the way to have a negotiation or discussion. They want to be able to talk with us in confidence. Because, frankly when there’s disagreements people are very sensitive about whose opinions are getting put out there, so we just gotta be thoughtful and we’ll pursue it. I’m just gonna be a strong advocate for the people of Illinois in these discussions.

Oh, so now he understands that it’s best not to negotiate through the media?

And now he understands that in times of disagreement people might be a bit sensitive about what is “put out there”?

And now he understands the benefits of being “thoughtful” about an approach to negotiations?

Ah, how things change when an unpredictable and vengeful president-elect has millions of Twitter followers and our governor only has 15.7 thousand.

* Raw audio…

* Related…

* 18M would lose insurance year after Obamacare repeal: study

- Posted by Rich Miller   35 Comments      


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