An additional $45 billion to help combat opioid addiction in the Senate Republican Obamacare repeal and replacement bill isn’t enough, Ohio Governor John Kasich said Sunday.
In an interview on ABC’s "This Week," Kasich, who was contender for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, called the extra money, which would be spending over a decade, "not enough" to stem the opioid crisis.
"It’s anemic," Kasich said. "It’s like — as I said to [Ohio] Senator [Rob] Portman at one point, it’s like spitting in the ocean. It’s not enough."
"But that’s what they’re going to use, these efforts to try to buy people off, and they’ll throw big high numbers but they won’t understand what the impact is on the program," he said. "And that’s why I continue to speak out."
As governor of Ohio, Kasich supported expanding Medicaid under Obamacare and has argued cuts in Medicaid would make treating opioid addiction harder. Deaths from opioid drugs have been rising significantly in recent years, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Kasich also rejected the concept of repealing then replacing Obamacare that was backed last week by President Donald Trump. The law, he argued, needs "significant changes" but just repealing Obamacare would "leave people without what they need."
"Look, do you think that I like to have to fight the leaders in my own party over this? Of course not. There’s no joy in that," Kasich said of the legislation. "But John Kennedy may have said it best — sometimes my party asks too much."