Gov. Mike Pence Wants Tax on Hoosiers in Poverty

It’s hard enough when 76% of ALL Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, but Gov. Mike Pence wants to increase taxes on poor people, or as he puts it, “have skin in the game”, when it comes to their health and wellness needs. I guess the idea is if you pay a forced tax into a savings account instead of buying food, then you’ll be more inclined to be healthier. And, he’s like to go to Washington to seek permission to do this.

Pence wrote a letter requesting to meet with U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to go through outstanding issues with Indiana’s health insurance expansion. Pence wants to avoid expanding Medicaid for Hoosiers which pays for all health related expenses. Expanding Medicaid is a requirement under the ACA law for states, but Indiana was granted a one year waiver so we can explore options with Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP). HIP is capped out for the state leaving hundreds of thousands without insurance in Indiana.

The “skin” Pence is referring to is a health savings account linked with Indiana’s Healthy Indiana Plan which only covers around 40,000 Hoosiers. The “skin in the game” is the same republican concept referred to as the “individual mandate” in the Affordable Care Act which the Supreme Court ruled as “a tax” causing the entire republican party, through the help of their right-wing news media propaganda machine, to go on a year-long assault telling Americans, “Obama is taking away your rights and freedom by forcing you to buy insurance” and “Obama is forcing a tax on the Middle Class”.

What the right-wing conservative media failed to tell viewers was the “individual mandate” or “skin in the game” came from the right-wing conservative think tank, Heritage Foundation, and was used as the essential part of RomneyCare in Massachusetts, and was also forced upon ObamaCare.

However, in Indiana, the republicans and Pence take it one step farther by asking those living in poverty should also be mandated to give toward their health care. What Pence and his counterparts fail to grasp is if working Americans can’t save money, how can you expect those in poverty to save money? Pence is forcing them to choose between health care or food, and since the same republicans keep cutting food stamps, it’s getting even more desperate.

A CNN Money financial survey confirms what most people already know, but Pence and his ideological billionaire supporters don’t seem to get it – “After paying debts and taking care of housing, car and child care-related expenses, the respondents said there just isn’t enough money left over for saving more.”

In addition, since Pence has refused to expand Medicaid, those making slightly above poverty levels, don’t qualify for federal tax credits so they have to pay full price for health insurance premiums.

Hoosier republicans keep denying there is a “War on the Poor”, but their policy making decisions indicate otherwise.

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Todd Smekens

Journalist, consultant, publisher, and servant-leader with a passion for truth-seeking. Enjoy motorcycling, meditation, and spending quality time with my daughter and rescue hound. Spiritually-centered first and foremost. Lived in multiple states within the USA and frequent traveler to the mountains.

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  1. I live on social security as a senior. I have medicaid and medicare. I am making monthly payments on my share which is over $500. healthcare bills for services at the doctors I recently acquired. I made arrangements pay…monthly. In addition…$103.00 monthly is taken out of my social security as my ‘premium’ for the medicare plus…I have a $481.00 monthly spend down… So Pence thinks I need more ‘skin in the game” I can’t even begin to use the words that accurately describe him…

  2. As one of those god awful seniors living on social security, I don’t believe Pence has a caring bone in his body for any needy person. He has recently expressed his “concern” for the high death rate in newborns. The large majority of causes came back to the programs he vows to cut – just how freaking “concerned” can he be if he takes their food and medical benefits away. He is a liar and a loser. Put some skin in the game my foot!

  3. Not enough money to live on is poverty. We struggle to survive. Groceries have become a luxury purchase. Do i have enough to buy the peanut butter and the bread? If I buy the bread I can’t get the p.b. If I get the p.b. I can’t get the bread. It comes to a choice, buy a gallon of gas to mow the yard, or put in the car to get to and from work………….

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