Donald Trump's Vice President pick Mike Pence voted against the ACA then expanded Medicaid in Indiana

Even while he unveiled the Healthy Indiana Plan to accept federal funding with which to offer Medicaid to more citizens, the staunch conservative argued that doing so strengthened the case for repealing the Affordable Care Act.
By Jessica Davis
05:16 PM
Donald Trump Pence ACA

Donald Trump’s choice for Vice President running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, has ruffled healthcare feathers in the past.

Pence, in fact, holds one distinction unique among humans: he is the only person to vote against the Affordable Care Act in Congress and then turn around to implement Medicaid expansion, one of the ACA’s most contested provisions, after becoming a governor. 

Whether that represents a pragmatic attitude toward healthcare or not remains to be seen, but his acceptance of Medicaid funds came with right-leaning strings. Indeed, when Pence unveiled his intentions at the conservative American Enterprise Institute in 2014 he insisted that his "plan for state-based Medicaid reform is not only entirely consistent with the repeal of Obamacare, but helps to make the case for why repeal is needed."

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Under Pence’s Healthy Indiana Plan the majority of beneficiaries up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level are given the option of obtaining basic health insurance or making a monthly contribution of either $1 or 2 percent of their income (whichever is greater) to a health savings account to obtain more benefits.

Furthermore, Indiana is the only state allowed to remove some low-income enrollees from the Medicaid coverage after six months if they don’t pay their premiums. In the majority of states, Medicaid beneficiaries don’t pay premiums or other out-of-pocket expenses.

Pence’s program, however, is similar to conservative ideas that have been tossed around by other republican party members. And if Trump wins the election in November, Pence’s plan and Trump’s stance on healthcare could potentially shape the future of Obamacare’s basic structure.

Trump revealed his choice of Pence on Friday morning, after some back and forth as late as Thursday evening when he told Fox News that he had not yet made his final decision between Pence, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

"Honored to join @realDonaldTrump and work to make America great again," Pence wrote on his Twitter account after Trump’s announcement.

Twitter: @JessieFDavis
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