Gov. Pence battles Obamacare

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Mike Pence voted against the Affordable Care Act when he was in Congress. Now that he is governor, he continues to work against Obamacare and some people believe he is using inaccurate information in the process.

The debate now is over the cost of health insurance once Obamacare takes effect. Figures produced by the Pence Administration show big increases in health insurance rates but that may not come true for many people in Indiana.

In a one-on-one interview in his Statehouse office, Mike Pence stood behind data related to the Affordable Care Act and health insurance costs released last week by the state Department of Insurance. 

"On average," the governor said, "we expect the costs to go up 72 percent."

But, it was more than data that was presented by a deputy insurance commissioner on July 18. Logan Harrison also shared some speculation. 

"Even the federal government," he said, "is starting to recognize that perhaps this was a little too much, too fast."

That's not what the Obama Administration said in a direct response to information released by the Pence Administration which it labeled "incorrect."  So did a Washington Post blog that pointed to federal subsidies that would lead to reduced rates for many in Indiana.  It's an opinion backed up by Forbes, a publication that accused Pence of political motives.

Indiana Democrats agree. 

"This is a governor," said State Democratic Chairman John Zody, "who was part of the machine in Congress who, when the health care bill was being considered, the spin machine that tried to get it defeated and tried to deny health coverage to millions of Americans."

The governor insists his numbers are accurate but he also says that he hopes Obamacare is repealed. 

"I truly believe that the Affordable Care Act takes our nation in the wrong direction on health care," said Pence.

Meantime, the governor has said no to an online insurance exchange for Indiana and he continues to resist an expansion of Medicaid.

Mike Pence admits that his estimates do not include subsidies that will go to families who earn as much as 400 percent of the poverty level. That's over $94,000 dollars for a family of four.  He says the estimates also ignore inflation and other factors that could take them higher.


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The reality with Obamacare is that both positions are technically accurate. The reality is that the premiums will LIKELY increase. However if the individual is eligible for the premium tax credit through the healthcare exchange then the net effect MAY result in the individual paying an amount less than current. Unfortunately it is important to remember that the premium tax credits are going to be funded by at least $57 BILLION per year of NEW taxes, plus increases in existing taxes. A compounding problem is that the income projections of the new taxes are realizing reductions in revenue while costs are vastly exceeding expectations. Before one can determine their position on Obamacare they should research the overall impact it is going to have NOT just how is it going to benefit me today.

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