GOP gov: House health care bill needs work

What's in the Republican health care bill
What's in the Republican health care bill

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    What's in the Republican health care bill

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What's in the Republican health care bill 03:18

Story highlights

  • Hutchinson was reluctant to criticize congressional Republicans' first major legislative victory
  • Hutchinson is concerned about how the health care bill treats states that have expanded Medicaid

Washington (CNN)A red-state Republican governor struck a cautious tone the day after House Republicans passed a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, saying the bill's Medicaid funding structure need to be improved in the Senate's version of the bill.

"It gives us more flexibility to manage our health care systems, but it still results in a cost shift to the states that needs to be rectified when it gets to the Senate," Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Friday on CNN's "New Day."
Hutchinson explained that "we need to look at the per capita cost to make sure sufficient money is there to cover the program's needs," referring to changes in the House bill that would give states the option to receive per-capita or block granted Medicaid funds. Either option would limit federal responsibility, shifting that burden to the states.
Since states don't have the money to make up the difference, they would likely either reduce eligibility, curtail benefits or cut provider payments.
"I'm also worried about those moving toward the exchange, that the subsidies on the exchanges continue in a fashion that gives people a solution whenever they are in that mid-rage above the poverty level, but not making enough to afford health insurance."
Hutchinson was reluctant to criticize congressional Republicans' first major legislative victory of the Trump administration, but made clear his reservations about the House version of Obamacare repeal.
"We need to look at the cost shifts to make sure it is sufficient when we move off Medicaid expansion, and move off Medicaid, that they have somewhere to go. Let's focus our attention in the Senate on that option," he said.