Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Columns

May 27, 2014

Gov. Pence affixes a badge of pragmatism

When the early historical accounts of Mike Pence’s first stint as a government executive are assembled, the critical moment will likely be 10 a.m. May 15, 2014.

At that time, at the IU Health/Methodist Hospital Auditorium, Gov. Pence pushed away from the ideological trappings of a Capitol Hill Republican and became a pragmatic governor. His was not an embrace of Obamacare, but a critical mass realization that he presides over an unhealthy state and to reject Obamacare outright would only continue a troubled Hoosier Jacksonian legacy that thumbs its nose at federal funding, often at great expense to its citizens decades later.

We have seen this happen before. The spurning of the school lunch program in the 1950s, Nixon era federal revenue sharing, and a failure to separate combined storm and sanitary sewers a generation ago spawned a wave of double digit rate hikes in dozens of Indiana cities.

The scenario facing Gov. Pence was a gap of 350,000 without access to health insurance, coming at a time when the state suffers high obesity, smoking, infant mortality, adult suicide, coronary and cancer rates. “The facts are clear,” Pence said. “Today we have 350,000 low-income, working Hoosiers, those below 100 percent of the federal poverty level or a family of four making about $24,000 a year or less, who lack access to the kind of quality health insurance that their better-off neighbors enjoy. Experts rightly call this the ‘coverage gap.’”

Pence didn’t necessarily embrace the Obamacare he vociferously rejected as a congressman, but instead sought its adaptation with what could be called the compassionate, conservative stamp.

“I believe there are only two futures for health care in this country, government-directed health care or consumer-driven health care,” Pence said. “Indiana chose the better portion by embracing consumer-driven health care, giving eligible Hoosiers the power to make their own health care decisions. Today we seek to build on that choice by expanding the Healthy Indiana Plan for even more working Hoosiers.”

Text Only
Columns
  • nei-gb082014-linda kennett column pic A collecting bonus? It's in the cards Remember the packs of sports trading cards from the 1970s and 80s? I recently stumbled across several boxes of them that I thought my son had taken when he bought his first home 15 years ago. But there they were, still in the closet and mixed among t

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • nei-gb082014-homemakers column file photo Summer has flown by It seems summer is nearly gone. The State Fair is over, the Power of the Past is gone for another year, and the children are back in school. It may be time to think about getting involved in making and donating some items for Riley Hospital. We alw

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pat Smith: Goofy golf raises breast cancer awareness Last week I stopped in to ask Susan Doerflinger Burkhart to please interpret a letter I received from an insurance company I had two or more years ago. As usual, she was able to ease my mind. While there she asked if I was going to play in the all-fe

    August 20, 2014

  • Craft brewers, vintners bring spirits to State Fair Brad Hawkins felt right at home hawking his beer at the Indiana State Fairgrounds last week.When Hawkins opened his Salt Creek Brewery in a converted filling station in tiny Needmore three years ago, some tee-totaling neighbors protested he was putti

    August 19, 2014

  • Back to the classroom These days, it seems like the summers are going by even faster than they did when I was a student! Just yesterday, the temperatures were beginning to warm up and children were hanging up their backpacks. Now, many of them are already back in the clas

    August 19, 2014

  • Our children and their children Let’s ponder “our children” and “their children.”First, Gov. Mike Pence made a wise call this past week when he ordered the Department of Child Services to begin reimbursing families who had adopted special needs children.A class action lawsuit filed

    August 19, 2014

  • Remember the joy Williams gave Ball State’s Wes Gehring, the author of dozens of books on Hollywood stars, says the apparent suicide of Robin Williams will not tarnish the comedian’s legendary achievements.Williams was found dead Monday in his California home. He was 63.“As the li

    August 16, 2014

  • Why government fails Whatever our political stripe, we all want government to fail less often. Citizens and the media need to pressure elected officials to spend more time digging into the nitty-gritty of fixing bureaucracies.As election season approaches, I’ve been pond

    August 14, 2014

  • Giving young people a second chance How many of you know what the Hoosier Youth ChalleNGe Academy is? More basically, how many of you know where it is? I had a vague notion of where it is, but I would have been hard-pressed to tell you much about what it is.The Hoosier Youth ChalleNGe

    August 14, 2014

  • Camping for kicks and giggles (The chances of pitching your tent on a hill of fire ants are directly proportional to the distance from the nearest hospital.)Camping, most notably primitive style, can be a rewarding and fun experience, especially if the site is on the bank of a ho

    August 14, 2014