Friday, Nov 24, 2017
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Kasich gets one right

Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Democratic Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper have shown that American politics does not need to resemble a Hatfield and McCoy picnic. 

It is possible for well-meaning politicians to collaborate with those on the other side of the aisle. 

Mr. Kasich and Mr. Hickenlooper have done that in crafting a sensible plan to stabilize individual health insurance markets.

Markets have been foundering under Republican threats to withhold federal subsidies to insurers. The uncertainty has driven insurers from the Obamacare marketplace, leaving many counties with only one insurer, and others with the possibility of having none by next year.

Mr. Kasich’s and Mr. Hickenlooper’s plan is not a longterm fix for health care, but rather an effort to prop up collapsing markets. The two men are proposing that the individual mandate be kept in place and that young people keep their insurance. They propose that subsidies be continued to regain the confidence of rattled insurers and stave off predicted premium spikes of 20-25 percent.

But the governors are also proposing tax exemptions for insurers willing to go into underserved counties and they would allow residents of those counties to buy into the health care plan of federal workers, the Federal Employee Benefit Program.

Other governors who have signed on to the proposal include Republican Brian Sandoval of Nevada, Independent Bill Walker of Alaska, and Democrats Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania, Terry McAuliffe of Virginia, John Bel Edwards of Louisiana, and Steve Bullock of Montana. 

At times, Governor Kasich has been an absentee governor, seemingly more interested in kicking off a 2020 presidential campaign than tending to a growing list of needs in his own state. But he has been steadfast in his insistence that the federal government must provide quality health care to the citizenry. 

Governor Kasich led the charge to maintain Medicaid expansion during the recent Obamacare repeal debate. Now, he is working to prevent the collapse of the health insurance marketplace. For this, he should be commended.

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