Doctors turned lawmakers oppose medicaid expansion

April 15th, 2014 at 3:26 pm by under Jim Shella's Political Blog

An Indiana Congressman has teamed up with a state representative to battle Obamacare.

They’re both physicians who became lawmakers.  GOP Congressman Larry Bucshon is a heart surgeon.  GOP Representative Tim Brown is an emergency room doctor.

A Tuesday town hall at the Statehouse is one of 11 stops on a statewide tour for Bucshon and Brown, who both answer to representative but prefer to be called doctor.

“I have day to day experience in my real job,” said Dr. Brown, “cause I still go work in the ER on the weekends.”

But the message here has to do with public policies regarding medicaid.  “It doesn’t make any sense to expand a program that’s already failing,” said Dr. Bucshon.

An expansion would mean health insurance for thousands of Hoosiers and the money for it would come from the federal government.

“Let’s get it right before we decide to spend it,” said Dr. Brown, “as opposed to spend it and then say we’ll try to get it right.”

They both support the efforts by Governor Mike Pence, however, to expand the Healthy Indiana Plan.  A ruling from the federal government is expected in May.

“I’m optimistic that it’ll happen,” said Dr. Brown.  “I don’t have a crystal ball but I’m optimistic.”

And Dr. Bucshon will tell you that it’s too late to repeal Obamacare.  “We can’t go back to the status quo,” he said.

But, he says, the cost of health care is too high.  He told the audience, “It’s a very complicated thing to make that happen.”

And that’s led state Senator Tim Lanane, who for the record is a lawyer and a Democrat, to accuse Brown and Bucshon of playing politics with medicaid.

In a statement he said medicaid should be expanded immediately and said the two doctors don’t need a statewide tour to know the issues.

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