Indiana’s Mike Pence is the latest Republican to drop opposition to costly Medicaid Expansion in the wake of pressure from organizations like the Chamber of Commerce & Hospital Associations:
Governor Mike Pence (R., Ind.) yesterday announced his plan to implement Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. (Here is the waiver request.) Fearing push-back from simply expanding a broken program, Gov. Pence has tried to cover his expansion plan with the veneer of the Healthy Indiana Plan begun by Mitch Daniels, labeling his proposal “Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0.” Time will tell if he has a special connection with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to get his HIP 2.0 approved in full, but recent history would suggest otherwise. While the rhetoric of state-specific “flexibility” for Medicaid expansions has been heavy in Arkansas and Iowa, the fine print has revealed a very different story. What those states were left with after negotiating with CMS was a Medicaid expansion with some free-market window dressing. Gov. Pence and Indiana legislators should not make this same mistake.
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The Heritage Foundation explained why this is a disappointing development, and Heritage expert Nina Owcharenko warned, “As with most new government programs, original estimates are likely not the true full cost.”
Costs with the Arkansas version of Medicaid Expansion, the so-called Private Option, are already running well higher than initial estimates. Yet Republicans in red states like Indiana, Iowa and Missouri are pushing their versions of Medicaid Expansion as responsible conservative policy.
Don’t be fooled…
Hat Tip Ben