In case you were wondering, judging from this Morning Joe appearance, it looks like Ohio Gov. John Kasich is planning a run at the Republican nomination in 2020. That said, his statements on the healthcare bill are still helpful for stiffening Republican spines.
Kasich, who was targeted by Mike Pence for his opposition to the Republican healthcare bill, was furious when Pence linked waiting times for disabled people in Ohio to the expansion of Medicaid. He issued a strong denial then.
Mika Brzezinski talked about some senators calling for a bipartisan approach to health care.
"Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia announced he was organizing a bipartisan meeting of former governors who are now serving in the Senate," Brzezinski said.
"Three on the Republican side and six on the Democratic caucus. South Dakota Republican Mike Round said he would be attending the meeting last night. Another of those former governors, Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee announced that he will convene hearings of the Senate Health Committee in search of ways to stabilize the individual insurance market, a sign it's moving to regular order.
She introduced Kasich as one of a bipartisan group of 11 current governors who signed on to a statement rejecting efforts to end the law without a simultaneous replacement plan.
"Looking at what you have written frankly, listening to you on the campaign trail and in other interviews, it's very clear what drives you when you talk about health care. what is your best guess on what has driven this president through the process?" she asked.
"I don't think he's ideological on this," Kasich said.
"He has political people to try to probably tell him you need to do this or that. But I don't think he cares really what the solution is. I don't think he's embedded in an ideological program here. The more he's ideological, the worse he does.
"Health care is not something that should be driven -- the first and foremost thing on health care is people need to have it. They need to be healthy. They don't need to go bankrupt if they get sick and we know that if people are healthy, they're more likely to work than if they're unhealthy.
"And my sense is at the end he'll sign something to stabilize the markets. "We can then head to a direction of where we can deal with the problems of rising health care, which is really related to one simple thing. There are a number of things, but one simple thing. We practice quantity and not quality. If we practice quality and paid for quality, we'd begin to rein in these driving health care costs along with looking at all the other elements that contribute, for example, the rising cost of pharmaceuticals."
Just remember: John Kasich has never, ever been as reasonable as he sounds. If he was, he'd switch parties.