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Journal Gazette file photo by Chad Ryan
Gov. Mike Pence

Pence: Affordable Care Act ‘unaffordable’ in Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS – Gov. Mike Pence touted Indiana’s innovative health insurance plan while also criticizing implementation of the Affordable Care Act by the Obama administration in the weekly Republican address this morning.

Pence has given the weekly address several times before as congressman but this was the first as governor.

He said everywhere he goes business owners and workers are in survival mode – bracing for more regulations, higher taxes and the impending costs of the federal health care act.

“As implementation of this law gets closer, we are learning more about the burdens it will place on hardworking Americans. In Indiana, the Affordable Care Act will raise the average cost of health insurance in the individual market by an unaffordable 72 percent,” Pence said.

“In addition, the Obama Administration is creating confusion in the marketplace, from its suspension of the cap on out-of-pocket expenses, to providing subsidies without verifying income, to a one-year suspension of the employer mandate, this health care law is weighing down our economy. It’s costing jobs, discouraging investment and making the future bleak for too many families.”

Pence said the nation’s governors – specifically the 30 Republican governors – are working to add jobs and bring a fresh approach to the nation’s greatest challenges.

“Nowhere is this more true than in health care. Here in Indiana, we run a nationally-recognized program called the Healthy Indiana Plan. The Healthy Indiana Plan offers the uninsured an affordable health care plan with savings accounts that they control. Giving people in Indiana more freedom and more responsibility over their health care has improved outcomes, and now 95 percent of our plan’s enrollees are satisfied with their coverage,” he said.

“This is a perfect example of the truth that by letting freedom and personal responsibility work together, you reduce the need for government. Republican governors understand this truth, and the proof is in our results. In balanced budgets, lower taxes and less regulation that’s promoting job growth.”

The HIP plan, as it’s known in Indiana, is set to expire this year. Pence is trying to get the federal government to give it an extension because he doesn’t want to expand Medicaid to cover the people who would otherwise lose insurance.

Pence closed by focusing on the states’ power to govern themselves.

“More freedom and flexibility for the principled leadership emerging in states across this nation can and will promote good healthcare and a healthy economy,” he said.