Governor Pence calls for Obamacare repeal, HIP expansion

July 25th, 2014 at 2:32 pm by under Jim Shella's Political Blog

People who receive health insurance under Obamacare here in Indiana could lose federal subsidies as the result of a recent federal court ruling.  The governor used that development Friday to renew his call for a repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

Mike Pence has never been a fan of the President’s version of health care reform.  It’s why he refused to establish a state-based health insurance exchange and that’s the reason why the subsidies are now in jeopardy.

As he prepared to lead the governor’s annual motorcycle ride, Mike Pence agreed to talk about competing federal court rulings.  A ruling from Virginia outlaws subsidies to people who purchased health insurance through a state-based exchange.  The other, from the Washington, D.C. federal court, permits those subsidies.

For the governor it adds up to confusion that, he believes, should be cleared up on Capitol Hill.

“I think it just argues for Congress to take a half step back,” he said, “and hopefully at some near time in the future to reconsider health care reform on the federal level.”

In the meantime, the White House is choosing to believe the ruling that preserves Obamacare and Senator Harry Reid is assuring affected taxpayers that nothing will change yet.

One thing Mike Pence won’t do is rethink his decision to forgo a state exchange in order to preserve the subsidies.

“I stand by our decision not to establish a state based exchange in Indiana,” said Pence. “The fact that a number of states that set up state exchanges at considerable costs have begun to unwind those state exchanges, I think, is a confirmation of that.”

It will be up to the Supreme Court to sort it all out.

On a related matter, the governor says that he will meet with Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell next week to discuss his proposed expansion of the Healthy Indiana Plan, known as HIP.

There may be some irony because HIP 2.0 is a medicaid expansion by another name made possible by Obamacare.

In that case Pence says the fact that the current version of HIP is now at capacity speaks to the need for more health care options in Indiana.

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