Obamacare and HIP 2.0: Robbing Peter to pay Paul | John Pickerill

By John Pickerill

Well, our Indiana Republicans are ready to break yet another promise. This time it’s their support for repeal and replacement of Obamacare with a free market solution. The Indiana Republican platform promises, “We believe health care decisions should be made by patients, in consultation with their personal physician – not government bureaucrats. We support our Congressional delegation’s continued efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act….”


Graphic by CartoonStock

Despite that, top Republicans in the General Assembly recently suggested they don’t want Obamacare repealed. According to Howey Politics, “Republican Senate President pro tem David Long and House Speaker Brian Bosma both warned that the repeal of Obamacare could boot up to 420,000 Hoosiers off


the Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0. ‘If they go back… that’s going to have to cause us to recalibrate HIP 2.0. There’s no question about it,’ Long said on Wednesday of President Trump and congressional Republicans plans to repeal Obamacare. ‘The number of people on the program that could be affected? We really don’t know what we’re facing right now.’ Bosma told the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, ‘We’ll have to re-evaluate the HIP 2.0 program and the number of clients it serves, the state’s support for it. I’m not saying it would go away, but certainly, a major portion of the funding for that is no longer available. So we’ll have to take a hard look at the program.’”

Have Bosma and Long completely forgotten that it is the free market that will deliver the highest quality healthcare for the most affordable price to the largest number of people? Those individuals have the right to make their own healthcare decisions, including how much or how little health insurance they are willing to pay for? That the government has no legitimate authority to force an individual to buy health insurance? That it strangles economic recovery to force a business to provide health insurance at the expense of laying off employees to pay for it? Have they forgotten how many middle-class Hoosiers haven’t seen a raise in their paychecks in almost a decade, at a time when their health insurance premiums have doubled or worse?

Bosma and Long love to preach about the 420,000 people that Obamacare and HIP help, but conveniently ignore the 2,000,000 working Hoosiers they are hurting. They support robbing Peter to pay Paul, because they know they can count on Paul’s political support. They’ve thrown Peter to the curb.

It’s time to right this wrong. There are free market solutions already on the table that Bosma and Long can apply right now at the state level. For example, U.S. Senator Rand Paul, a physician, has a plan that focuses first and foremost on lowering the original cost of healthcare. It eliminates the individual mandate, eliminates mandated one-size-fits-all insurance coverage, allows buying health insurance across state lines, is based on a Health Savings Account system, gives $5000 tax credits to fund those HSAs for the needy, and allows young people to stay on their parent’s insurance plans. Indiana should follow this philosophy with HIP to base it more on free market via HSA and less on expanding Medicaid subsidies. Unfortunately, Bosma and Long are likely enjoying political favors with the $18 billion of HIP money mentioned in the Howey article. It’s doubtful they’re interested in solving the actual healthcare cost crisis facing most Hoosiers.

Raising gas taxes, huge spending hikes, expanding government programs, killing gun rights bills, killing pro-life bills, and now supporting Obamacare … the Democrat takeover of the Indiana Republican Party is now complete.

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