Congressman Andre Carson of Indiana's 7th District and Congressman Baron Hill of the 9th District put out a joint news release Wednesday calling into question Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels' "flawed" and "not plausible" actuarial report about the new health care reform bill.
Here is the release:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today’s actuarial report on the alleged fiscal impact of the new health care reform law, which was commissioned by Governor Mitch Daniels’ Administration, is yet another attempt by the Governor to politically assail health reform, said Congressmen André Carson and Baron Hill.
Congressmen Carson and Hill are again imploring the Governor to provide Hoosiers with factual, apolitical information on the new law.
The actuarial report presented to the State Budget Committee this morning paints a flawed, “doomsday” scenario that simply is not plausible, according to Hill and Carson:.
1. First, the report projects the cost of Medicaid expansion to the State under the assumption that 100 percent of those eligible will enroll, including those who currently have private insurance. No means-tested public program has ever achieved a 100 percent participation rate. Medicare, the most well-known of such programs, has a participation rate of only 96 percent.
The state’s own Healthy Indiana Plan offers evidence of the fact that participation for programs like Medicaid ramp down after reaching a high enough income threshold. The state projected more than 100,000 people would take part in HIP—enrollment reached well less than half that number.
In addition, the report does not consider such cost-defraying instances as the number of Hoosiers who will become newly-eligible for Medicaid who already receive some state-funded health services, such as mental health treatment or hospital care. Under the new reform law, many of those services will be covered under Medicaid, and the federal government will shoulder a significant portion of those costs.
2. Second, the report intentionally excludes savings rendered by the Governor’s plans to end the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP). Indiana spent $140 million on the program this year. Using the Governor’s ten-year projection model, that’s $1.4 billion in tax dollars that are freed up should the Governor pursue his plans to voluntarily terminate the program.
3. Third, the report lacked any relevant context. Without health reform, states’ share of Medicaid costs would have grown rapidly because of both the rising cost of health care and the rate at which businesses are forced to drop employee coverage.
As the letter from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services the two congressmen forwarded to the Governor last week noted, Indiana currently pays the full costs of its State-funded program. Under the new reform law, the federal government will cover 100 percent of the costs for the newly eligible for 2014-2016, 95 percent in 2017, 94 percent in 2018, 93 percent in 2019, and the federal government will pay 90 percent of these costs indefinitely.
“We are repeating the same message we delivered to the Governor last week – please work with us in a productive manner to ensure that this law is implemented in the most efficient and cost-effective manner,” Congressmen Carson and Hill said in a joint statement. “Presenting Hoosiers with misleading and inflated projections is not productive and detracts from the important work at hand.”