IBJOpinion

Editorial about Pence entirely wrong headed

November 23, 2013
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IBJ missed the mark criticizing Gov. Mike Pence in its [Nov. 18] editorial about Indiana’s participation in the Affordable Care Act fiasco.

Pence has steadfastly tried to bring good health care to low-income Hoosiers in a way that doesn’t put Indiana over the fiscal cliff in the same way the federal government plan does to the federal budget. He and the Legislature are in sync on that approach.

IBJ advocates adopting the expansion. That takes the program from $6.5 billion per year in Indiana in 2012 (equal to our largest single program, K-12 funding) to a whopping $13.5 billion per year, almost as big as our entire $15 billion-per-year state budget.

So much for state budgeting responsibility and any future state sovereignty if we sign up.

The governor has not rebuffed federal premium subsidies as indicated. Instead, the federal government has tried to force the state into a full expansion by threatening us with non-qualification if we do less.

Pence continues to engage Secretary Kathleen Sebelius with waiver alternatives that make sense, even to the point of requesting face-to-face personal meetings to work on this issue.

His waiver request instituting the Healthy Indiana Plan, a proven program which consumers like, has only recently been granted now that the ACA appears close to being a ship wreck.

Any government program, to be good, must be based on sound policy, and must be executed by the administration in charge. The ACA is based on many bad policies, and the Obama administration has shown no ability to execute the plan. A D- at best on both points for the administration.

Indiana, through the Legislature and Gov. Pence, by contrast, has a plan based on sound policies and has been executing the plan for four years.

It is good that the IBJ is reporting on this issue. It is important that it get its facts right, frame the issues correctly and evaluate policy makers in a way that enlightens the public. This is the value of the free press, so please try again.
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Sen. Luke Kenley
R-District 20

 

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