There was an exchange between Republican presidential candidates Jeb Bush and John Kasich at the South Carolina debate last weekend about Medicaid expansion that illustrates what Governor Asa Hutchinson was talking about in his press conference yesterday.
Hutchinson said continuing some form of coverage for 250,000 low-income people (the Affordable Care Act enabled funds for this new population) does not mean that Arkansas Republicans at the state level want the ACA to be the federal healthcare law. He still, as he has always said, opposes it.
Kasich is the Governor of Ohio and like the majority of states chose to expand Medicaid to take advantage of increased federal dollars made available through the Affordable Care Act.
A few highlights from the exchange:
Bush: "Expanding Obamacare is what we're talking about. Obamacare's expansion, even though the federal government is paying for the great majority of it is creating further debt [on the federal level]."
Kasich: "I not only sued the administration and I did not set up an exchange...You know who expanded Medicaid five times to try to help folks and give them opportunity so they could get a job? Ronald Reagan."
In a poll from Talk Business & Politics and Hendrix College earlier this month Kasich garnered 4 percent support, Bush had 1 percent.