Senate health bill means choosing between 'children, seniors, the disabled,' Kasich says

The Ohio governor opposed the House and Senate health bills this year.

“If they’re going to give $45 billion [in funding for addiction treatment] over 10 years, I’m getting almost $300 million, $600 million a year. That would give me a billion over 10 years? Not even quite that. It’s anemic. It’s like spitting in the ocean. It’s not enough,” Kasich said.

But increasing funding for opioid addiction would not be enough for the Republican governor to get behind the Senate bill.

“Everyone is focused on the drug problem because it's unbelievable. It's horrific and we all know it,” Kasich said. “It’s not just Medicaid and the fact that there’s not enough money in Medicaid legitimately to treat people and be able to reform the program. It’s the entire bill and the entire package.”

“You can’t do nothing and you can’t do something that dismantles the whole program,” said the governor, adding that the Senate bill should not be rushed.

“It can’t be done in a slipshod way just looking at lines on a paper,” said Kasich, “because the lines, actually, are filled with blood, the blood of people that would be affected.”

Kasich is calling for leaders in Washington to find a better solution to health care reform.

“Build the people and put them in a stronger place where everyone’s lifted,” Kasich said. “I don’t know how you could sit down there and not put the country first.”

If politicians prioritize country over party, he believes the bill “can and will be fixed,” Kasich said.