White House launches aggressive push to flip GOP governors opposed to Senate health bill – Washington Post

The White House launched an aggressive drive Friday to persuade key Republican governors to stop criticizing a Senate proposal to overhaul the nation’s health-care system, urgently pressuring them in public and private ahead of a decisive week for the controversial legislation.

Despite the administration’s sales pitch, however, four influential governors reiterated their concerns about the bill’s impact on their states’ most vulnerable individuals — underscoring the challenge facing the White House and Senate Republicans as they seek to fulfill a seven-year GOP promise to undo the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

“I’ve still got to come back to my concerns with regard to the Medicaid population,” said Gov. Brian Sandoval (R-Nev.) on his way to a private session with Vice President Pence here at the summer meeting of the National Governors Association. Pence had earlier delivered a detailed speech to the entire group defending the bill.

Sandoval’s views, along with those of three other governors whose states expanded Medicaid under the ACA — John Kasich of Ohio, Doug Ducey of Arizona and Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas — could prove decisive in determining whether the Senate passes legislation next week. Republican senators from those states are closely watching how their governors respond to the newly revamped legislation as they decide whether to support it.

Kasich, who did not attend, issued a statement calling the revised Senate plan “still unacceptable” because of its Medicaid cuts and possible impact on the private ACA insurance market.

(Lee Powell,Rhonda Colvin,Victoria Walker,Monica Akhtar/The Washington Post)

Pence joined Tom Price, President Trump’s health and human services secretary, and Seema Verma, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, to work governors in front of cameras and behind the scenes Friday in this waterfront city.

They offered a detailed pitch contrasting with the more general and sometimes contradictory rhetoric Trump has delivered on health care — but one that contained inaccuracies and quickly met with rebukes from health advocates. They claimed, for instance, that the bill would not throw millions off insurance and that disabled Americans have been denied care because of the expansion of Medicaid under the ACA, which is also known as Obamacare.

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