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How HIP 2.0 Could Affect Gov. Pence’s Political Career

Political analysts say the governor's plan to expand health care coverage is receiving broad support, which could position him well for future elections.

mike pence

Photo: Jimmy Jenkins

Mike Pence announced his plan to expand the Healthy Indiana Plan on Thursday.

Governor Mike Pence’s plan to expand the Healthy Indiana Plan is receiving support from both Republicans and Democrats, which some political analysts say could be good for his political ambitions.

The proposal comes shortly after Pence’s announcement that Indiana would be the first state to withdraw from the Common Core national education standards, and earlier this week during a trip to New York City, Pence spoke with several news outlets, including an appearance on Fox and Friends where he touted Indiana’s economic policies.

That’s led some to believe Pence is gearing up for a presidential campaign in the next election.

Political analyst Ed Feigenbaum says HIP 2.0 is a high stakes policy for the governor, and he’s won people over quickly by getting support from Republicans and skeptical Democrats.

“He’s setting himself up as kind of a pioneer of sorts in a couple of ways and this may serve him well within the Republican Party on a national basis,” Feigenbaum says.

Dr. Rob Stone, the co-founder of a grassroots group called Hoosiers for a Commonsense Health Plan, has been a staunch supporter of traditional Medicaid expansion and has criticized the governor for dragging his feet, but on Stone says the governor’s plan was a step in the right direction.

“I’m proud of the governor for taking some political risks in doing this. I am concerned though. Are we recreating a wheel here? Are we creating a system that’s surprisingly administratively complex and how long is going to take to work all this out?” he says.

The federal government must approve HIP 2.0 before it can be implemented.

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