Democrats say Indiana could become 'island of the uninsured'

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The President's health care reform plan takes effect at the first of next year and states have a choice to take part or be left out.  Governor Mike Pence is not interested in taking part and Democrats are upset.

States have two choices. The first involves creating an online health insurance marketplace known as an exchange.

Governor Pence has informed the federal government that Indiana won't do it.

He also informed the Obama Administration that he thinks the second decision on whether to expand Medicaid eligibility to families who earn up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level is, in his view, inadvisable. 

"It's been estimated that we can insure 400,000 more Hoosiers if we do this correctly," says state Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane.  He says the Medicaid expansion would cost nothing before 2020.

Democrats also say the governor is making an emotional response to the passage of the Affordable Care Act based on politics. 

"We cannot wait another day to start debating the great issue of our time which is the affordable care act," says House Minority Leader Scott Pelath, "and how do we cover every uninsured Hoosier in Indiana."

The Democrats point to Republican governors, including Rick Snyder in Michigan, who have elected to buy in to health care reform.  All of the states surrounding Indiana plan to expand Medicaid. 

"I don't think we want to be known as the island of the uninsured," says Sen. Lanane.

Governor Pence, in the meantime, has not ruled out a change of heart. 

He plans to attend meetings of the National Governor's Association and the Republican Governor's Association later this month and says he will seek outside advice when he does.  His decision on a Medicaid expansion will be made in conjunction with the passage of a new state budget in April.

Copyright 2014 WISH TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

Political Pulse

Did you like this article? Vote it up or down! And don't forget to add your comments below!

No
Like It
 
Don't Like It
 
 
 

Comments

We welcome your thoughtful comments. Be the first to participate in the discussion. All comments will display your username and avatar.

 

Add a Comment

Sign in or join now to post a comment. All comments will display your username and avatar.

 


Indiana (change)

 
Indiana politics enter a new era as MIke Pence prepares to take over as the next governor.
 
Offices & Officials

Contacting the White House and Congress

Click the links below to get in touch with your elected officials.