Recently Indiana Governor Mike Pence introduced what he hailed as a “conservative” approach to Medicaid expansion. Some conservatives are praising the plan, but there are a lot of holes in Pence’s arguments.
This Forbes article explains why Pence’s move simply “remains an Obamacare Medicaid expansion in disguise.” From the article:
Pence himself admits that Medicaid is not a program that should be expanded, but rather one that should be changed. He’s right. States need to reform their existing Medicaid programs, not expand them.
That’s what makes his actions so strange. Pence is not proposing a comprehensive overhaul of Indiana’s Medicaid program. Instead, he’s proposing to expand Medicaid eligibility under ObamaCare. It appears Pence has embraced a more government-intensive position that the only way to reform a program is to expand it.
The article outlines several specific reasons why Pence’s expansion is a bad deal for Indiana. Among those are: the expansion does not function like a block grant – as promised, the new POWER accounts that are supposed to be like HSA’s are not like HSA’s at all, and Pence’s plan creates a new entitlement program for able-bodied citizens that will be virtually impossible to reverse once implemented.
Other governors looking at Pence’s plan and thinking that it outlines a viable, “conservative” alternative means of expanding Medicaid would be wise to reconsider.