Just Give Me the Money!

We need to ask Governor Pence just what part of “accountability” he doesn’t understand.

The IBJ recently reported that the administration is refusing to give the federal government access to information about HIP 2.0–the system that he used to implement Medicaid while insisting that it WAS NOT MEDICAID, NO SIREE! Well, in all fairness, it did have differences; it covers fewer Hoosiers than a simple Medicaid expansion would have done, for one. Call it Medicaid-lite.

The plan was sufficiently in compliance with Medicaid regulations to allow the federal government to fund it–on condition that they evaluate the program after it had been in effect for a period of time. When the time came for the state to submit information needed for that evaluation, however, Pence refused to comply.

The most recent flare-up between the Pence and Obama administrations came when Indiana missed a June 17 deadline for submitting data to the federal government on who was enrolled and what kind of benefits they were receiving.

Now, maybe I’m missing something, but when the agency that is paying for a program asks for information needed to determine how you are using its money, it seems reasonable that you would comply.

But of course, the words “reasonable” and “Mike Pence” are rarely found in the same sentence. (That’s probably why Trump finds him congenial.)

Indiana officials, however, have balked for months at the federal review, saying they are conducting their own outside review.

“I am concerned that two evaluations being conducted at the same time has the potential to create contentious outcomes which can impede fair, impartial and empirical analysis of demonstration projects,” Pence wrote in December to the U.S. secretary of health and human services.

To some observers, the conflict seems to boil down to this: Pence doesn’t trust the federal government to do a fair evaluation.

Gee–if I were the federal government, I wouldn’t trust Pence to administer a fair system.

A former state official has a theory about why a simple element of accountability–a look at the books to determine whether federal funds are producing the agreed-upon results–has Mikey’s panties in a twist:

“From the beginning, when Pence established this Medicaid expansion by using HIP, he has struggled to make it look like it’s an Indiana plan, not a federal plan,” said Sally McCarty, former Indiana insurance commissioner under Democratic Gov. Frank O’Bannon, and a former senior research fellow at the Center of Health Insurance Reforms at the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute.

“He probably doesn’t want to relinquish ownership of any of it and give any control to the federal government,” McCarty said.

He just wants the money–no pesky “accountability strings” attached.

I don’t think it works that way.


  1. Excellent Sheila,
    There is one other possibility: Pence hopes that the Feds will withhold monies and he can completely shut down the program as a result. Hurting none of those who vote for him or his buddie Trump.

  2. Just another day in the life of an embarrassed Hoosier.
    You know, States Rights and all that. Sigh.

  3. Ideology at it’s finest here. Whether communism, trickle down economics, or the belief that the Federal government is the enemy of the states, it’s rigid, unrealistic, and inflexible.
    And we thought communism was the only system that was rigid, unrealistic, and inflexible.
    So it goes.

  4. AgingLGrl; as I read this blog my brain kept returning to the 1860’s and the ensuing Civil War between maintaining the Union and ruling solely by State’s Rights. Indiana is north of the Mason-Dixon Line but is run by it’s own Hoosier Sovereignty unwritten legislation as the Confederacy did to maintain slavery. To distract the attention of and maintain the support of the unknowing, politically uneducated Republican voters, GOP state leaders here and in other states are yelling “Communism” and pointing fingers at the Democratic party. The Confederacy didn’t believe it had to report to or adhere to rules of the Union (the U.S. government); claiming State’s Rights. Many Indiana residents are slaves to HIP 2.0 and those sucked in by the original HIP.

    “He just wants the money–no pesky “accountability strings” attached.”

    Pence don’t need no stinkin’ “accountability strings”!

  5. This all goes back to Max Baucus a Democratic Senator from Montana, who refused to give the Single Payer a seat at the table when Heath Care Reform was being discussed in May 2009. From 2003-08, Baucus received $3,973,485 from the health sector, including $852,813 from pharmaceutical companies, $851,141 from health professionals, $784,185 from the insurance industry and $465,750 from HMOs/health services, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

    This period was when the Democrats held control of the House, Senate and Presidency. In military terms the Democrats held the political high ground with their control of the Federal Government. The Democratic Establishment did not drop the ball on Single Payer including the House, Senate and President , they would not even pick it up.

    It was a disgusting display of cowardice in the face of the For Profit Health Care Vultures. The result was ACA and it’s death by a thousand cuts by the Republicans and Establishment Democrats giving in to people like Governor Pence.

    By the way what is John Gregg’s plan for Health Care in Indiana????? Here is a chance to shine a bright light Mr. Gregg. I have found the following on the Internet – Healthcare policy >> Aims to make healthcare more affordable and accessible. WOW how totally indecisive. Another Internet site has the following: >> No issue stance yet recorded by OnTheIssues.org.

  6. Having a relative who attempted to use the program, I’ll hazard a wild guess that HIP 2.0 misses every standard with which it’s supposed to comply.

    Governor Pence doesn’t care whether it works or not so long as the feds don’t shut it down before the election.

  7. A question is, turf war, ideologically different perspective or pure party politics?

    I offer no evidence but favor pure party politics. The Republican Party is circling the bowl and they just have no discernible accomplishments on which to campaign. It’s been decades since they did anything noteworthy and that record can’t win elections. They hoped and still hope that entertainment would buy sufficient numbers of minds and votes but they keep falling short. What’s a party to do?

    As long as the details are kept secret Pence can hocus pocus the local version of ACA as a Republican accomplishment and the GOP needs something to claim real or illusion. If the Feds came in, looked at the books and said “looks good to us” that makes it certifiably ACA which is good for Hoosiers but bad for the GOP.

  8. The whole health savings option is the centerpiece to the GOP alternative to ACA, so what happens when the federal government exposes the fraud in Indiana, and the other states using the health savings option?

  9. This comment is regarding yesterday’s post:

    In my comment yesterday I mentioned that the real reason Philando Castile was pulled over may not have been for a tail light that was out. I knew this to be a ruse that police use to pull someone over for other reasons.

    I just read an article in the Huffington Post about a recording of the policeman saying that he was pulling it over because he thought the people in the car looked like a couple that had just committed a robbery. That is exactlly why they were pulled over and why that policeman was so aggressive. He had decided they were the robbers and treated them as if they were before obtaining any information.

    THIS is what is wrong with how they conduct their “business” and that cop should not only be fired, but he and the department should be sued.

  10. I just called Pence’s office to request that Pence allow the federal government to conduct their investigation of HIP 2.0 that he agreed to allow at the time he was given permission to allow his version of HIP. I calmly stated that I am sure Pence would not appreciate it if someone made an agreement with him to do something in exchange for money and then they later refused to complete their part of the agreement. I also mentioned that hiring a firm on your own to conduct an “independent” investigation does not appear to have the qualities of truly being “independent”.

    The gentleman that answered the phone and took my message was not pleasant. I cannot even imagine how many calls they have to answer every day with complaints about their boss.

  11. IMO the take over of the media entertainment system by Limbaugh, Murdoch, and Aisles for money, led to popular but misinformed conservatism and that led to Bush II. His dismal performance and the lack of any qualified GOP candidates led to Obama, which led to the effective shut down of Congress and indirectly SCOTUS. The continued dearth of qualified GOP candidates plus the unmitigated success of Obama will lead to President Clinton II.

    A fork in America’s path. Recovery from entertainment induced hysteria or down the drain. It depends now on Congress and Governors.

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