Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

Ohio Gov. John Kasich got some attention this morning when he said it would be a "very, very bad idea" for congressional Republicans to phase out Medicaid expansion. "We cannot turn our back on the most vulnerable," Kasich said on CNN's State of the Union. "We can give them the coverage, reform the program, save some money, and make sure that we live in a country where people are going to say, at least somebody is looking out for me."

What it really means: Yes, Kasich wants to make sure the 700,000 Ohio residents who gained coverage don't lose it. But that doesn't mean he wants to leave the Medicaid expansion the way it is. Here are two important things Kasich has asked for in the past — reforms where he could pretty easily reach common ground with the Trump administration and Congress:

  • Charge a fee for Medicaid coverage. Kasich has proposed that in the past, and although the Obama administration turned him down, he could have more luck this time with a modified version of the plan. That's because Seema Verma, Trump's nominee to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, was the consultant who helped Kasich write his original plan, Cleveland.com reports.
  • As a presidential candidate last year, Kasich proposed rewriting Medicaid to limit the amount of funding for each person in the program — the same idea congressional Republicans are looking at now. Kasich's point is that he doesn't want people to lose coverage during the transition to the new system.

Go deeper

Cleanup on aisle Biden

Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

After two gaffes and a low blow from President Trump questioning his faith, Joe Biden spent Thursday evening off his own message — clarifying comments and responding to attacks.

Why it matters: Biden’s responses reflect what we could see a lot more of in the next few months — cringeworthy comments and Trump smears, smacking into each other and pulling the Democrat off course.

2020 election strategy: Hire all the lawyers

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The coronavirus has sent overall U.S. unemployment into the double digits — but it's a sort of full-employment act for election law attorneys.

The big picture: The prospect of extended court fights over COVID-19-related voting changes, an absentee ballot avalanche, foreign interference and contested presidential results has prompted a hire-all-the-lawyers binge by candidates and campaigns — not just in swing states but around the country.

Right-wing media defanged by dissolving anti-Biden storylines

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The three biggest anti-Joe Biden storylines in right-wing media over the last year have either fizzled or are getting less online traction than they used to, according to data from NewsWhip provided exclusively to Axios.

Why it matters: This dynamic has rendered a formidable media ecosystem less effective in boosting President Trump as we move into the heart of the 2020 campaign.