Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Columns

July 5, 2013

BRIAN HOWEY: What is the cost of controversy?

Indiana has paid ACLU more than $900,000 since 2008.

(Continued)

PPIN President and CEO Betty Cockrum saw it as a political stunt. “We’ve been fighting on behalf of our patients and their access to lifesaving, preventive care such as Pap tests, breast and testicular exams, birth control and STD testing and treatment,” she said. “While the state has been trying to score political points and wasting taxpayer dollars, we’ve been standing up for the Hoosiers who count on us every day.”

Zoeller also challenged the Affordable Care Act over the threat of loss of Medicaid funding. He called it “coercion of another sovereign” by the federal government. “We actually won that case on that point,” Zoeller said.

That could be a Pyrrhic victory for Hoosier taxpayers, if the feds turn down Gov. Mike Pence’s plan to use the Healthy Indiana Plan to expand Medicaid, leaving on the table billions of dollars. Pence, in turn, sees danger in costs once the feds reduce coverage from 100 percent to 90 percent after three years.

Zoeller makes no apologies for taking on controversial cases.

“I’m not going to sit out the most important constitutional cases of the day because they might require some hard work on our part,” he said.

Brian Howey, a Peru native, is publisher of The Howey Political Report. He can be reached at www.howeypolitics.com. Find him on Twitter @hwypol.

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