As Senate Nears Health Care Vote, Portman Remains Opposed To Medicaid Cuts

Jul 12, 2017

As the U.S. Senate moves toward a planned vote on their version of the health care bill, Ohio's Republican Sen. Rob Portman says he'll continue opposing any plans that take coverage from people on Medicaid.

Portman says he expects to see new language for the Senate bill by Thursday. Until he's reviewed the changes and seen an analysis from the Congressional Budget Office, though, his opinion remains the same as before the July 4 break: The Affordable Care Act is failing, but he won't support a new bill if it takes away coverage for those on Medicaid.

“So we continue to create a better healthcare system one that does lower the cost of coverage, that does provide access to quality care, but also allows us to say that we are not pulling the rug out from under folks who are on Medicaid,” Portman said in a Tuesday conference call with reporters.

Portman says he's concerned Medicaid cuts will affect the many Ohioans seeking opioid addiction recovery treatment.

NPR reports the GOP will also release an updated version of their Better Care Reconciliation Act, which so far has drawn opposition from both moderate Republicans who say it goes too far in reducing Medicaid funding as well as conservatives who argued the bill doesn't go far enough to fully repeal regulations and subsidies under the ACA, or Obamacare.

Ohio is one of the worst states for coverage under the ACA. There are now 19 counties without a single insurer in the health care exchange, and 27 counties that have only one.