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Medicaid refusal a slap to state’s most vulnerable

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 hard-working moms and dads who can’t qualify for Medicaid because their income is more than 24 percent – about $4,450 for a family of three – of the poverty level; and the non-disabled, non-pregnant, childless adults younger than 65 who can’t get Medicaid no matter how poor they are.

Indiana has the option of providing low-income Hoosiers with life-saving 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 individuals 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.

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 life-saving 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.

ALEX SLABOSKY Indianapolis

True Americans never resort to deception

What do we do now?

Lying to the public is becoming a normal course of action – using plagiarism to present ideas or words as one’s own. Our president, his staff and some members of Congress make excellent use of this method of gaining support for their ideas. Once elected, they forget they were born true Americans.

TOM HEINY Fort Wayne

Obstructionist Long should step aside

On Jan. 31, Sen. David Long’s office released an email on why he is calling Senate Bill 230 “unconstitutional.” He has the misconception that the Constitution’s “supremacy clause” (Article VI) somehow means that once the U.S. Supreme Court rules on something that the states can’t question its constitutionality, which is ridiculous.

As a remedy to allow passage of SB 230, Long proposes the states initiate a constitutional convention to change the U.S. Constitution to make SB 230 constitutional. That begs the question, what part of the Constitution does he think needs changed? The reality is no change is necessary. There is nothing in the Constitution that makes SB 230 unconstitutional. In fact, the principle behind SB 230 is a cornerstone to the Constitution itself: States have a right and duty to check federal power when the federal government tries to exercise powers that go beyond those enumerated in the Constitution itself.

Long needs to re-read Article VI of the Constitution, the Tenth Amendment, the Federalist Papers, and James Madison’s record of the proceedings of the original Constitutional Convention. If he insists on his present course of action, we should consider him in dereliction of duty for failing to secure our unalienable rights and for violating his oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. At the least Long needs to step down as the president pro tempore if he persists.