Renacci On OH-GOV Opponents: “In The End, They’ll Have To Weigh In”
COLUMBUS — The Republican primary for Ohio governor is growing heated, with U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci calling out his fellow GOP contenders for their failure to take a stand on the House Republican plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act and phase out the Medicaid expansion that covers about 700,000 Ohioans.
“Jim Renacci voted for Trumpcare, which would have cut $115 million for public health programs in Ohio, endangered one-fourth of Ohio hospitals and resulted in an estimated $1.5 billion state budget deficit,” said Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper. “But he at least weighed in on a major policy issue with huge implications for Ohio families. Mike DeWine, Jon Husted and Mary Taylor have been ducking tough questions about Trumpcare — a proposal that was opposed by the American Medical Association, AARP, Ohio Hospital Association and Governor John Kasich. Political courage seems to be in short supply in the Ohio GOP.”
The National Journal last week quoted Renacci as saying, “In the end, they’ll have to weigh in,” about his Republican primary opponents.
National Journal: How Health Care is Playing in Swing-State GOP Governor Primaries
Term-limited Republican governors were some of the loudest voices of dissent during last month’s federal health-care-overhaul debate, and those stances could prove to be a wedge in the GOP primary fights to replace them.
While the GOP’s first shot to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act failed, it has the potential to remain at the top of voters’ minds in both federal and state races, as the White House and congressional Republicans attempt to kick-start a fresh plan.
In Ohio, Michigan, and New Jersey, some Republican gubernatorial candidates are split on how federal law can be most beneficial to their states, while others are declining to take a stand just yet in the middle of one of the most hot-button debates in politics.
“In the end, they’ll have to weigh in,” Rep. Jim Renacci, a Republican candidate for governor in Ohio, said of his several current and expected primary opponents.
Renacci and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor are the only two declared GOP candidates to replace Republican Gov. John Kasich, who was in Washington last week calling on Republicans to work with Democrats to fix the current law and who opposed the House GOP plan’s use of block grants to replace Medicaid expansion.
The primary could soon also include state Attorney General Mike DeWine and Secretary of State Jon Husted, but so far Renacci is the only one to take a stand on a replacement plan—he voted for the American Health Care Act as a member of the House Budget Committee. Renacci said he backed the measure because of the “unsustainable” health care market under the ACA.
The others have been tougher to pin down. Taylor did not agree to an interview at the National Lieutenant Governors Association meeting in Washington last month. DeWine didn’t weigh in on the bill when asked by a local NBC affiliate but stressed he supported repeal. Husted said at a forum before the legislation was tabled that he didn’t want to “give a yes or no answer” on it, but he hoped “reasonable people can develop a better plan than what we have today,” according to video released by the Ohio Democratic Party.
“It’s a no-win,” Ohio Republican consultant Bob Kish said. “You’re trying to appease the base but yet appease also those middle-of-the-road Republicans that think maybe there needs to be some moderation to the effort.”