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Web letter: Pence needs to care for health of Hoosiers

Gov. Mike Pence was voted into office by promising to improve the lives of Hoosiers.

Which Hoosiers’ lives will he improve by refusing to expand Indiana Medicaid in accordance with the Affordable Care Act?

Pence is trying to side-step the law by petitioning CMS to allow him to expand the Healthy Indiana Plan. This is partisan chest-thumping that is not in the best interest of Indiana.

The current HIP program has many flaws. It doesn’t cover dental, vision or maternity care. It isn’t large enough to cover the current people in need. There are 40,000 Indiana residents on waiting lists trying to obtain this coverage.

Here are some of the repercussions that Hoosiers will have to live with, if Pence doesn’t comply: A loss of 30,000 jobs and $10.5 billion in lost federal assistance. Which Hoosiers will that help?

There will be 400,000 Hoosiers without health insurance. Citizens enrolled in HIP will lose their coverage altogether. Hospitals, physicians and others will see decreased payments so they may actually receive less payment than the cost to render the care. This puts a burden on those of us with insurance, as well as every health care facility in the state.

The United States is the only major world country that doesn’t take care of its citizens’ health care. What do we have to show for this? We have the highest cost per person for health care, lower life expectancies, higher infant mortality and high out-of-pocket costs for drugs. It is disgraceful when you compare us with other countries. It is time to try what the rest of the world already knows. Universal healthcare actually cares for every citizen.

It is time for Pence to get in line with the rest of the world and take care of the citizens of his state.

LISA DANIEL Fort Wayne

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