Porter: Fiddling on health care in DC will burn hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers

July 28, 2017 Gregory W. Porter

INDIANAPOLIS – State Rep. Gregory W. Porter (D-Indianapolis), ranking Democrat on the Indiana House Ways and Means Committee, today issued the following statement on the ongoing health care debate taking place in both Washington, D.C., and Indiana:

“The increasingly deranged campaign being undertaken by Republicans in charge of federal government to dismantle Obamacare/the Affordable Care Act is going to leave deep and lasting damage unless it is stopped immediately.

“As the chaos continues in our nation’s capital to do something…anything…to get rid of a program that has given millions of Americans a chance to have health care, we are starting to see the impact in our state as well.

“Our governor now tells us that he is willing to consider raising taxes to continue the state’s HIP 2.0 program if it turns out that the federal government shuts off the flow of Medicaid dollars that have helped keep that program operating. Unfortunately, he continues to be tight-lipped about the potential impact of that loss in revenue, which reports have indicated range from $5 billion to as much as $21 billion. I fear he feels the same frustration as many of us, but is playing the good soldier and declining to place the blame where it truly belongs.

“There is an expression that seems to apply here: Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. I will remind everyone that Indiana House Democrats attempted to do some of that planning in the 2017 session by asking that any revenue from any proposed increase in the state’s cigarette tax may be used toward shoring up HIP 2.0. That effort was rejected because Republican leadership wanted to see what happened in Washington first.

“What we are seeing is a bunch of wallowing around with no real purpose. The Republicans campaigned to get rid of Obamacare/the Affordable Care Act, and they are hell-bent on doing that, even though they have no alternative that can pass muster in their own ranks. Are we really going to get to the point where people are going to be told they don’t deserve to have health care coverage? I worry that might be the case.

“So they fiddle around, and the very real potential is that HIP 2.0 is going to burn to the ground, costing hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers their health care. Confusion reigns supreme as we hear our state’s leaders brag about a state surplus, then mention the possibility of raising taxes…again.

“There is a simple solution here, and that is for the madness in DC to stop. Just stop. Accept the fact that Obamacare/the Affordable Care Act works, and that millions of Americans like having health care, and move toward making the program better.”