Another red state bites the dust. Governor Mike Pence and Indiana. The agreement between Indiana and the Obama Administration will extend health coverage to 350,000 low-income families in the state.
Indiana became the 28th state to accept the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. With Mike Pence, a staunch conservative, signing on, it could provide the necessary political cover for other states to come onboard.
The partnership is also being announced separately, so there will not be any victory laps from the Obama administration. This is about getting citizens covered, not political points.
Health Indiana 2.0 will go into effect on February 1 with some conservative hallmarks. Beneficiaries will be required to contribute to premiums and other costs, which lawmakers dub health savings accounts. Two coverage options are being offered – ‘plus’ and ‘basic.’
Indiana’s plan will be 100 percent covered by the federal government through 2016. After that, at least 90 percent of the costs will be covered.
Currently, more than 10 million Americans have obtained health insurance under Obamacare. Most have qualified for subsidized insurance or through expanded Medicaid offerings.
Twenty two states have still balked at the expansion, mainly in GOP controlled areas. Texas and Florida are the biggest, with huge numbers of uninsured. GOP opposition has stalled talks to get the expansion live in those states.
With Mike Pence giving in, it would be a shock to see the dominoes start to fall this year before 2016 heats up. Both referendums on Obamacare have been won by President Obama.
If the GOP wants to get on the national stage and win state elections, they are going to need another issue. It’s better to let the governors take the heat on this one.