When I saw that my old friend and former law partner, Peter Rusthoven, was taking on my views about the Affordable Care Act, I was concerned [Nov. 25]. I was afraid that out of friendship Peter would hold back his attack on my opinions. He didn’t do that. Instead, he held back on the facts.
First, he suggests that Indiana would have had to bear the costs of creating a state-run health care exchange. Washington was ready to pay toward this effort. The states that did decide to run exchanges looked at benefits as well as costs. Many of their people have benefited as in Kentucky, of all places. Apparently Rusthoven does not want Hoosiers to benefit.
Secondly, he predicts as a certainty that the federal government would cease to pay 90 percent of the cost of Medicaid expansion. He cites no authority for that and presumes that the 50 states will just roll over.
He suggests that Obamacare has cost hospitals jobs. Does he believe that reducing the number of people with coverage will alleviate such a problem? More importantly, has he read the excellent and balanced Focus section in the same issue of the IBJ showing how providers can benefit from the Affordable Care Act (albeit with differences and difficulty)? Does he really reject cost control efforts and pressures for better lifestyles just because Obamacare calls for that?
I do owe Rusthoven an apology for confusing him. When the governor and attorney general sued to prevent employees at large employers from being assured of guaranteed health insurance coverage, I said they wanted to make Indiana into Bangladesh.
I apologize for that choice of geography. But Kentucky is not available to be criticized on this matter. By that reference to South Asia I meant a place where citizens are unprotected. Like Hoosiers without health care.
I will not take up his kind invitation to attack fellow Democrats who support the ACA but want to see changes they think will improve it. I hope that someday Rusthoven will try to encourage more health care coverage. That is a good idea--far better than dodging the facts.
Ed DeLaney, representative
Indiana House District 86