May 20, 2013
The Honorable Mike Pence
Governor of Indiana
Room 206, State House
Indianapolis, IN 46024
Dear Governor Pence,
I received your response last week regarding the letter I sent you in March asking you to support health insurance coverage for the working poor and underemployed Hoosiers who make at or below 133% of poverty. I was pleased to learn that you are willing to accept the 10.45 Billion in federal funds set aside for Indiana under the Affordable Health Care Act under the auspices of the Healthy Indiana Plan as opposed to traditional Medicaid. However, I am concerned that your administration appears to be willing to put at risk low income Hoosiers, economic development opportunities, and revenue offsets in order to claim a political victory rather than a moral one. By sending the federal government proposals that violate the spirit of the ACA, Indiana is gambling with its share of the dollars set aside under the Affordable Care Act and driving up the costs of health care for those of us lucky enough to be insured. It is true that after 3 years Indiana will have to pay a 10% match, but that could easily be covered by the proceeds the State receives from the Tobacco settlement and/or the money that had previously been allocated to state high risk insurance. According to Matthew 5:42,”we are to give to him who asks of you and not to turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.” I understand that you are endeavoring to be a good steward, as you should, but should it not be secondary to trusting God and God’s will? Should we not expect Christian office holders to keep the public trust by at the same time putting their trust in the word of God?
In my earlier letter I appealed to the friendship we had in Christ while at Hanover as well as the Christian discipleship that has been the centerpiece of your public life. Unfortunately, however, you shied away from expressing how your faith walk relates to your decisions as an elected office holder and the way you balance competing interests in light of the Gospel. I would have liked to hear from you how you interpret versus such as Luke 12:48 and Mathew 25:45 and what they say regarding our shared responsibility to care for the least among us. Drawing upon Isaiah 24:4, do you believe there are exceptions to God summons to be a “defense for the helpless, a defense for the needy in distress?” Whereas you have publicly stated a penchant for using Christian ethics as the standard to order other parts of public life, why would it not be the same with respect to the summons in Deuteronomy “If anyone is poor among your fellow Israelites in any of the towns of the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward them”?
Once again I am requesting to know how your faith informs your position regarding the implementation of health care coverage for the working poor. I look forward to receiving your reply.
Program Director for Healthy Families and Sustainable Communities
Lafayette Urban Ministry
420 N. 4th Street
Lafayette, Indiana 47901-2213
To READ Susan Brouillette’s First Letter to Governor Pence (March 18, 2013), click HERE.
To READ Governor Mike Pence’s Response (May 1, 2013) to Susan Brouillette’s First Letter (March 18, 2013), click HERE.
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