Gov. Holcomb encourages lawmakers to vote ‘yes’ on GOP health care plan

Gov. Eric Holcomb

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — A vote that was scheduled to take place in the House on Thursday night has been delayed. Reports state the vote on a new health care plan that could have replaced the Affordable Care Act was in jeopardy of failing.

The new plan, The American Health Care Act has been hotly debated among lawmakers in Washington and here at home. Governor Eric Holcomb (R) spoke for the first time about his support for the new plan. He sent a letter to lawmakers in Washington, urging them to vote yes on the new plan. Holcomb said he sees the new deal as a first step in repealing the Affordable Care Act, by allowing states to have more control over their own plans.

“I’ve always said that the right first step is to repeal Obamacare. It’s clearly not working,” Governor Holcomb states. He added, “I’m asking Washington, trust the states, trust Indiana. We’ll deliver if we’re given the proper authority and the proper control and most importantly the proper timeline.”

Governor Holcomb promised Hoosiers that no one will lose their current healthcare coverage.

“Compassionate about the folks that are covered right now. I want to make sure the folks in the state of Indiana are treated like people, not numbers,” he said.

State democrats disagree. Senator Minority Leader, Tim Lanane (D), said there’s too much uncertainty about how a plan like this would impact Hoosiers down the road.

“The concern I have is no matter what gets passed, there’s going to be a reduction in overall federal funding for our programs and that will trigger the repeal of what we’ve done to get Hip2.0 put in place,” Senator Lanane said.

Senator Joe Donnelly (D) said he believes the new plan would eliminate funding for drug treatment.

“At a time when our state is in tremendous crisis, this seems to be the wrong thing to do,” Senator Donnelly said.

Even some state republicans say they’re not backing the new plan with full confidence. Senator David Long (R) said while he supports a plan to repeals the Affordable Care Act, he doesn’t want to jump into a deal that might not be a good fit.

“I want to see something that doesn’t cut the legs out from the states who have expanded Medicaid, especially the Indiana plan which I think is the model that the federal government will pursue for the states in the future,” he said.

The latest reports indicate that it will be a close call and that republicans don’t have the votes they need to pass the plan. Reports state the vote could happen Friday morning.

Governor Holcomb along with 7 other governors from Alabama, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, and Utah sent this letter to Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan:

Dear Leader McConnell and Speaker Ryan:

Thank you for your ongoing efforts to repeal and replace ObamaCare, which has led to higher premiums and fewer choices. ObamaCare has overburdened and overregulated our businesses, medical communities, and American families, and it has expanded Medicaid in a way that diverts resources away from the program’s core mission. This bill addresses many of the concerns of those who sent a loud and clear message to
Washington last November demanding change.

We write today to offer our support for the American Health Care Act, especially now that important changes to the legislation were announced this week. The move to a more flexible Medicaid program that empowers states with options to utilize per-capita caps or block grants; providing a workable time frame for transition out of ObamaCare; advancing work requirements to encourage able-bodied Americans to find jobs; and providing states with funds to help stabilize our insurance markets and provide assistance to low income Americans, are all positive improvements to the bill.

We understand there may be additional improvements and technical changes as the bill advances, and we will continue to engage in discussions with the Congress and the Trump Administration.

Transformational change from a “free” entitlement where all rules are made in Washington to a true state driven healthcare system will not be easy and will take a coordinated effort from government and all sectors of the healthcare industry. We must keep moving toward that goal with passage of the American Health Care Act.

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