Pharos-Tribune

Local News

April 15, 2013

Medicaid expansion hangs in balance

Advocates say the state is leaving money on the table.

Advocates are calling a proposed expansion of Medicaid a huge boost for Indiana’s economy, but Indiana Gov. Mike Pence isn’t wavering in his opposition.

At stake is whether Indiana will expand the state and federally funded health care program for the disadvantaged and disabled to cover more than half a million Hoosiers.

Under the Affordable Care Act, also called Obamacare, the federal government will pick up the full cost of expansion for three years, and would gradually require the state to pick up 10 percent of the expansion cost by 2020.

According to a report released Friday by Families USA, a lobbying group for health care consumers, the expansion would pump $1.3 billion into Indiana’s economy over the next three years, creating an estimated 16,400 jobs.

The expansion also would reduce the $1.7 billion Indiana hospitals absorb or pass along each year in uncompensated healthcare provided to uninsured or underinsured patients, an ongoing problem which increases health care premiums across the board.

“From an economic standpoint, Medicaid expansion is a no-brainer,” Families USA executive director Ron Pollack said.

Surrounding states have moved ahead with the expansion, but Indiana so far hasn’t followed suit, a decision which expansion advocates call “leaving money on the table.”

So far, eight Republican governors who opposed the passage of the Affordable Care Act have gone ahead with Medicaid expansions anyway, said Paul Chase, deputy director of lobbying group Covering Kids & Families of Indiana.

And during the recession, then-Gov. Mitch Daniels accepted $800 million in stimulus money. But that money came without strings attached.

Pence says he’s concerned the federal government can’t uphold its end of the Medicaid expansion bargain, and has said he won’t expand traditional Medicaid. He has proposed expanding Indiana’s Healthy Indiana Plan, but it’s uncertain whether the federal government would agree with that plan.

“There is no doubt in my mind with the federal government $16 trillion more in debt that there is going to be some significant course correction in the not-so-distant future at the national level,” Pence told the Howey Political Report. “An area I think the state should be very cautious about is betting on the future promises of the federal government in the expansion of Medicaid.”

The Indiana General Assembly has already made it clear that Pence will largely be the one to decide whether there’s a health care expansion in Indiana.

The Senate passed a bill to expand the HIP program, but this week that bill, SB551 was killed in the House.

State Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Portage, said the House budget bill now includes $600 million for health care expansion over the next two years, but said there are multiple conditions set on the money.

Under the parameters in the bill, the Indiana Family and Social Services Agency would have to negotiate a plan with the federal government, and then come back to the Legislature with the plan and ask for the money, Tallian said.

“I think it’s a good thing we have not just left the whole expansion deal to the [Pence] administration,” Tallian said. “On the other hand, I don’t think the parameters are quite strong enough.”

The Indiana Hospital Association came out with a similar report about a month ago, but drew little response from Pence’s office. Advocates are still hoping Pence will consider expanding HIP, but note the program has participant contribution requirements and caps on coverage which traditional Medicaid doesn’t have.

“The Indiana General Assembly needs to authorize a Medicaid expansion or give permission to the governor to negotiate a comparable alternative. And, to date, the General Assembly has done neither,” Chase said. “Too much is at stake for our citizens and our state to leave this money on the table.”

For more on this story and other local news, subscribe to The Pharos-Tribune eEdition, or our print edition

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Area could see higher healthcare premiums Individual premiums for healthcare under the Patents Protection and Affordable Care Act could go up in counties with poorer health, according to a Ball State University study.The study said counties with poor health, specifically high diabetes incide

    July 30, 2014

  • NWS-PT072914 Voting2.jpg Round 2: Deadlines approach to file for November election Openings are filling up as deadlines to file approach to run for local town councils and school boards.Up for election this fall are town council seats in Royal Center’s districts No. 2, 3 and at large and at large in Walton as well. The filing deadl

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Police Blotter: July 30, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    July 30, 2014

  • Pence pushing Medicaid alternative during DC trip INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is heading to Washington to seek federal approval of his proposed state-run alternative to traditional Medicaid in order to expand health care coverage for low-income residents. The governor's office says P

    July 30, 2014

  • NWS-PT073014 Hickman.jpg Two arrested in purse-, wallet-snatching spree

    MONTICELLO — Two were arrested late last week in relation to a string of purse and wallet thefts from shopping carts in local department stores. Lindsey R. Hogg, 22, Monticello, and Rachel D. Hickman, 23, Burnettsville, were arrested by the Lafayette

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Fatal wreck UPDATE: Monticello woman killed in overnight wreck

    A Monticello woman was killed late Monday night in an automobile accident involving a car and semi-trailer truck in the northbound lane of U.S. 31 near the junction with U.S. 931.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pool sets Sunday at closing date

    The season will close at Tower Park Municipal Pool on Sunday, according to the Logansport Parks & Recreation Department. Final season activities will begin on Friday, including "Floatie Friday." Pool-goers are invited

    July 29, 2014

  • Police investigate possible stabbing

    A woman called 911 late Monday to report she had been stabbed in her Brookston home.

    July 29, 2014

  • Winamac woman dies in crash with county truck A Winamac woman is dead after failing to stop at an intersection and being struck by a Pulaski County Highway Department dump truck. Just before noon on Monday, Dollie Frinkle, 71, Winamac, was driving a 1996 Buick Park Avenue westbound on 100 South

    July 29, 2014

  • Indiana BMV asks court to delay vanity plate sales INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles has asked the state Supreme Court for permission to continue its suspension on sales of vanity plates until a court case is settled. The Indiana attorney general's office announced Monday it ha

    July 29, 2014

Featured Ads
More pharostribune.com
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
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.
Poll

Should grocery and convenience stores be allowed to sell cold beer?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results
eEdition