Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Breaking News

Columns

October 22, 2013

TOM LoBIANCO: Ind. working poor highlighted in pair of studies

State's low-wage jobs come with a price tag.

A pair of reports released last week highlighted different angles of the continuing troubles faced by Indiana’s working poor and raised questions about who ends up paying for their safety net.

The Kaiser Family Foundation found 182,000 residents fall into a health insurance coverage “gap” because the state has not expanded Medicaid coverage, and a jobs study from the University of California, Berkeley, found almost half of Indiana’s fast food workers are also receiving public assistance.

The two reports provided sobering details as the state continues to struggle to pull out of the recession — the unemployment rate has hovered above 8 percent for more than a year now while the median income has declined over the past decade. It also helped shine some light on why the state’s leaders have been so heartily focused on improving job training programs statewide.

“It’s not a good state to be poor, or out of work, or uninsured,” said Morton Marcus, a veteran Indiana economist and former professor at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business.

Putting the health care gap in context: There are 182,000 adults earning between roughly $2,700 and $11,500 a year who will not receive federal health insurance. That excludes poor residents with children and Indiana’s elderly, who receive Medicare. The Kaiser report found Indiana’s numbers are not out of step with other states that have not expanded Medicaid under the federal health care law, but also noted in the states that did approve an expansion, there is no insurance gap.

That shortfall could be temporary here, however. Republican Gov. Mike Pence, long a vocal critic of traditional Medicaid, has said he would like to see the state expand the Healthy Indiana Plan to cover residents earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, or roughly $15,400.

Democrats have charged the Pence administration with dragging its feet — an answer from the federal government could take many months — but Pence has said he wanted federal approval to continue the program before seeking an expansion, as a precaution against current enrollees losing coverage.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • DAVE BANGERT: Indiana's new chief justice and court's 'mom question' Two years ago, as Loretta Rush ascended from Tippecanoe Superior Court 3 judge to the state’s Supreme Court, I dropped this line in a column celebrating someone who had earned her place.“Across the state, the headline will be: ‘[Mitch] Daniels Choose

    August 14, 2014

  • JEFFREY McCALL: POTUS promises of transparency fail to materialize The United States system of government relies on citizens having full access to information that can be used in self-governance. Journalists and other First Amendment advocates were enthused when the Obama administration came into office with convinc

    August 14, 2014

  • Rob Burgess House of Burgess: RIP Robin Williams

    I was re-watching the 2006 movie “Little Miss Sunshine” Monday when I heard my phone buzz. After the credits had rolled, I looked at the screen and found myself shocked.It was a news alert that Robin Williams had died that morning at the age of 63 of an apparent suicide.

    August 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • ANDREA NEAL: 'Paddle Your Own Canoe' is a Hoosier inspiration

    Editor’s note: This is one in a series of essays leading up to the celebration of the Indiana Bicentennial in December 2016. James Whitcomb Riley was the most acclaimed, but he wasn’t the first Hoosier poet to gain national fame. Sarah T. Bolton dese

    August 13, 2014

  • DAVE BANGERT: Rokita, illegal immigration, Ebola outbreak and context At first listen last Monday, there was something so unsavory about our congressman, Todd Rokita, whipping up two full-fledged crises — Central American children at the U.S. southern border and the African scourge of Ebola — into one pungent sound bit

    August 12, 2014

  • DAN COATS: Let's give nonprofits relief from IRS delays A flurry of scandal has recently surrounded the Internal Revenue Service.Over the past few months, we have learned about missing emails from IRS employees and revelations of clear bias and hostility by a top IRS official towards organizations with ce

    August 12, 2014

  • BRIAN HOWEY: Pitchforks and pikes in our summer of discontent Congress is ... embarrassing. Our political system is failing us. On an individual basis, many of us have respect for members of our delegation. We can have a common sense conversation with a senator, congressman or congresswoman, and then they go ba

    August 11, 2014

  • DICK WOLFSIE: Enough reminders to forget It began with a simple phone call to my friend, Auri, a computer geek I asked to help me with my very successful website, which right now is attracting up to three visitors a month. To have a strong online presence, you have to spend several hours a

    August 11, 2014

  • ED VASICEK: Outsourced jobs, health crises in foreign lands The other week, my Internet was giving me trouble. I called the support number, and — to my surprise — I spoke to a representative who sounded as American as apple pie. It turned out the technical problem was an oversight on my end and fixed quickly.

    August 10, 2014

  • MICHAEL HICKS: Dodging corporate taxes Corporations are among our oldest institutions. Something like a joint stock company probably triggered the earliest formal written communication — the accounting ledger. It should be unsurprising that the early traders of Mesopotamia used a corporat

    August 10, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Obama: World Is Appalled by Murder of Journalist Israel, Militants Trade Fire After Talks Fail Pres. George W. Bush Takes Ice Bucket Challenge Pierce Brosnan's Call to Join the Expendables Changes Coming to No-Fly List Raw: IDF Footage Said to Show Airstrikes Police: Ferguson More Peaceful Raw: Aftermath of Airstrike in Gaza Raw: Thousands March on Pakistani Parliament Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan Fire Crews Tame Yosemite Fire Raw: Police Weapon Drawn Near Protesters, Media Raw: Explosions in Gaza As Airstrikes Resume Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape Texas Gov. Perry: Indictment 'a Political Act' US Officials: Video Shows American's Beheading Video Shows Ferguson Cop Months Before Shooting Water Bottles Recalled for Safety Researcher Testing On-Field Concussion Scanners
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller