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Oct 04, 2016

Everything You Need to Know About Kaine and Pence for the VP Debates

In preparation for tonight’s vice presidential debates, we thought that we’d take a look at both candidates’ health policy positions in addition to Exchange and Part D data for Virginia and Indiana.

Both Kaine and Pence have held congressional and gubernatorial positions during their political careers. Kaine has been a senator for Virginia since 2012 and Pence was elected governor of Indiana in 2012. 

Telemedicine and mental health were two focus areas for Kaine while he was governor of Virginia (2006 – 2010). In 2009, Kaine supported state legislation, which required insurers to cover telemedicine servers.  The bill was signed into law by his successor in 2010.   He also signed a $42 million legislative package to overhaul Virginia’s mental health system. During his time as senator, he has supported policies targeted at affordability and curbing opioid abuse. Although Virginia has yet to accept Medicaid expansion funds, Kaine has advocated for it. Earlier this year, he co-sponsored The States Achieve Medicaid Expansion Act of 2016. 

While Pence has said that he would like to see a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the state of Indiana did accept funds to expand Medicaid. Pence took a non-traditional approach and implemented the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) 2.0.  The program features health savings accounts and requires premium contributions. To date, HIP 2.0 has enrolled 400,000 beneficiaries. As a Congressman (2000 – 2012), Pence voted against the passage of Medicare Part D, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (although he did support the More Children, More Choices Act of 2007), and the ACA. 

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