you could consider having the epidural set and then not having it connected to meds until/unless necessary (version, section, whatever) - my OB is advocating for me to do this.
Sounds a little like putting a cast on my leg in case I break my leg later, and then asking me to do cartwheels on a trampoline.
Accepting an epidural line is another signal that you expect problems. One is that much closer to conforming to a highly-medically-managed L & D. If that's the kind of L & D one wants, it's a good step toward getting it.
The reasons the OP's OB cited for using an epidural are certainly possibilities. As are a lot of the well-documented risks of epidurals. Is it a case of the "cure being worse than the disease"?
Good luck. Never easy deliberations.