(Repeats to add link under related content)
By Yasmeen Abutaleb and Susan Cornwell
WASHINGTON, March 2 Ten state governors seeking
to avoid millions of dollars in federal healthcare cuts under
Republican plans to replace Obamacare pressed their case in a
meeting with Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday, according to
two people briefed on the talks.
The governors are worried that repealing former President
Barack Obama's 2010 healthcare law without a detailed
replacement will take coverage away from millions of Americans
and land the states with a large financial hit.
Pressure from governors is just one of the challenges facing
President Donald Trump's administration as it tries to
scrap Obama's Affordable Care Act, one of the Republican's
signature election campaign promises.
During the hour-long meeting, the governors presented Pence
and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price with a
proposal to reform the Medicaid program for the poor, the
Under Obamacare, more than 30 states - including about a
dozen with Republican governors - expanded Medicaid by allowing
those who earned incomes up to 138 percent of the federal
poverty level to enroll.
The governors' plan would allow those states to maintain the
Medicaid expansion and enable other states to also expand,
according to a copy of the proposal seen by Reuters. States
could choose to expand Medicaid to any income level at or below
138 percent and retain enhanced federal funding for the program.
The proposal would also give states more flexibility in how
they manage their Medicaid programs and cap spending for certain
House Republicans have yet to agree on a single detailed
policy proposal and many say it will not be in place before
On Thursday, a draft Obamacare repeal bill by the House
Republicans was available for Republican members of the House
Energy and Commerce Committee to read in a room on Capitol Hill
but was not publicly released. It was not clear whether the
governors' demands were addressed in the latest version of the
"The President and Vice President have been very clear that
governors and states will play a critical role in the repeal and
replacement of Obamacare," said Marc Lotter, a Pence spokesman.
Ohio Governor John Kasich also met with Trump on Friday and
briefed him on the governors' plan.
In his address to Congress on Tuesday, Trump said that state
governors should be given "the resources and flexibility they
need with Medicaid to make sure no one is left out."
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and House Ways and Means
Committee Chairman Kevin Brady met on Thursday with Republican
members of the Senate Finance Committee and discussed the
"We're still a long ways off," Walker said. "The same things
they (lawmakers) hear from their members are the same things we
hear in the states, is how do you balance states that didn't
take the expansion and states that did. How do we make sure we
find a good way?" he said.
(Reporting By Yasmeen Abutaleb and Susan Cornwell; Additional
reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Caroline Humer and