INDIANAPOLIS – Congressman Messer and Congressman Rokita’s vote for the House Republican health care overhaul may have been a vote for a $21 billion tax increase on Hoosiers, according to Governor Holcomb, who said that a tax increase may be needed to make up for the HIP 2.0 budget shortfall created by their bill.
As the Governor’s office grapples with the potential damage to HIP 2.0 if the Republican health care overhaul is enacted, the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette reports today that Governor Holcomb has said that he’s willing to raise taxes to continue the Medicaid expansion program. The governor has repeatedly made clear that in any scenario he wants to continue HIP 2.0, which insures 400,000 Hoosiers. According to a recent report from the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation, Indiana would have to raise $21 billion over five years to continue HIP 2.0 in its current form if the ACA’s expansion ends.
Increased revenue would not be necessary were it not for congressional Republicans’ health care overhaul that guts the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion which funds HIP 2.0. The House bill, which Congressman Messer and Rokita voted for, would cut Medicaid funding by more than $770 billion over 10 years.
“If it wasn’t bad enough that Congressmen Messer and Rokita have supported a bill that would cause premiums to skyrocket and allow insurers to discriminate against Hoosiers with pre-existing conditions, they may also have forced Indiana to raise taxes by tens of billions of dollars,” said Will Baskin-Gerwitz, Senior Media Strategist for the Indiana Democratic Party. “Both men may claim to be fiscal conservatives, but all they’ve done is forced their state to choose between gutting an immensely popular program that insures 400,000 Hoosiers or raising taxes on working families. That’s not what any Hoosier wants.”