Pence apologizes, others react to Supreme Court decisionJune 28th, 2012 at 4:51 pm by Jim Shella under Jim Shella's Political Blog
Mike Pence, the Indiana Congressman who is running for governor, is apologizing for a private reaction to the Supreme Court ruling. Fellow Republicans on Capitol Hill say he compared the ruling to the 9-11 tragedy.
On a conference call with Indiana reporters Pence declined to provide the context of his remarks but said that he made an unfortunate statement. He said, “My remarks were thoughtless and I apologize.”
Meantime, it will fall to current governor Mitch Daniels now to decide if Indiana will establish a state health insurance exchange or leave that to the federal government. Daniels is more concerned, however, with a 2014 expansion of Medicaid that is no longer mandatory as a result of the Supreme Court decision, but may still be necessary. Daniels says it could have a $2 billion price tag. “It’ll be a big decision whether to authorize a very large expansion of medicaid,” said Daniels, “but that’s what legislators and the next governor are hired to do.”
Meantime, Attorney General Greg Zoeller is defending his role in the Supreme Court challenge to the Affordable Heath Care Act. Indiana was one of 26 states involved. “We used all of our own resources, all the lawyers that work everyday for my office,” said Zoeller. “We didn’t pay to go to any of the hearings. We’ve not spent one penny of taxpayer money other than the budget we have to do our work everyday.”
Back on Capitol Hill Indiana Senator Dan Coats expressed surprise at the ruling and said it’s now up to voters to decide what happens next. He does have a suggestion. “Well,” he said, “I still believe we should repeal this act and start over.”
On the other hand, thousands of Indiana residents who have no health insurance can look forward to coverage. 850,000, or 13.4% of the people in this state currently are uninsured.