To the editor:
Gov. Mike Pence got it right when he said, “I believe a society can be judged by how it deals with its most vulnerable, the aged, infirmed, disabled...” If the governor’s statement is going to be more than just another political platitude, Indiana needs to expand health coverage to Indiana’s vulnerable: the hardworking moms and dads who can’t qualify for Medicaid because their income is more than 24 percent — approximately $4,450 for a family of three — of the poverty level; and the non-disabled, non-pregnant, childless adults under 65 who can’t get Medicaid no matter how poor they are.
Indiana has the option of providing low income Hoosiers with lifesaving health coverage with the federal government paying for all health care costs for the first three years and 90 percent thereafter. Refusing federal funding will hurt Indiana’s economy.
Tax revenue and jobs created will be lost. Indiana hospitals, especially in rural counties, may be forced to cut services and staff. Hoosier businesses and individual will have to pay higher health insurance bills to cover costs shifted from the uninsured and hundreds of thousands of the most vulnerable will still have no health coverage.
Gov. Pence said, “Indiana should seek ways to encourage strong, healthy families for our kids, our communities and our state.” Accepting federal funds for expanded health coverage does that.
It will provide lifesaving health coverage to more poor Indiana families and individuals and will protect them from the unmanageable health care costs that all too often drive families into bankruptcy.