GARY | Gov. Mike Pence is playing politics with the Affordable Care Act, state Rep. Charlie Brown told a crowd Monday at the Genesis Convention Center, focusing on the Republican's decision not to expand Medicaid as recommended by the act.
“We have roughly 400,000 people who are eligible for Medicaid but the governor in his wisdom said we won’t expand Medicaid,” he said. “Instead he asked the federal government (to) allow us to use the Healthy Indiana Plan instead of expanding Medicaid.”
“It is basically politics, not expanding Medicaid,” Brown, a Gary Democrat, said.
Brown said he doesn’t have it in writing but believes that the governor wants to run for vice president and Pence, by virtue of not adopting all of the ACA components, is playing to what he feels may be the majority sentiment of Hoosiers, that all these “lazy people out here are waiting for the government to take care of them.”
“My personal feeling is that health care is a right, not a privilege,” Brown said. “Everyone should have health care.”
Brown was one of five panelists at a town hall meeting hosted by the city of Gary, the Lake County Minority Health Coalition and Community HealthNet regarding the Affordable Care Act.
“At the end of the day this is about access to health care,” Freeman-Wilson said.
She said they will have these sessions “over and over again.”
“We will include the number of people who will seek coverage, who will seek information, who will look at their opportunities that have been created and increased under the Affordable Care Act,” she said. “We are so serious about this that we are going to be signing people up in City Hall because we believe it is that critical to the citizens of the community.”
Denise Dillard of Methodist Hospitals talked about the benefit of those under 26 who can remain under their parents’ insurance under the ACA.
“That’s huge,” she said. “Many young people don’t go to the doctor and having health insurance is the last thing on their mind.”
Dillard said when they become seriously ill and go to the emergency room, it’s “extremely costly” and 9 out of 10 of them are not covered.
“Then you have a credit rating that reflects that and it impedes any of your process of having credit, getting a house and not getting an apartment,” she said. “All of those things affect the quality of life.”