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
  • Boy severely injured in crash out of ICU A boy involved in an all-terrain vehicle crash April 6 has left the intensive care unit and undergone what doctors and his family hope to be his final brain surgery. Kohle Wildrick, 12, a Galveston Elementary sixth-grade student, remains hospitalized

    April 24, 2014

  • Police blotter: April 25, 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.

    April 24, 2014

  • NWS-PT042414 Princess Singing-MAK Fairy tale remix: Lewis Cass presents "Once Upon a Mattress" WALTON -- Barbra Burch played Queen Aggravain in Lewis Cass High School's 1985 production of "Once Upon a Mattress." Twenty-nine years later, she is directing the musical at the school. "It's kind of surreal," she said. "There are some things that ta

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Indiana Packers opening Frankfort plant FRANKFORT -- Delphi-based Indiana Packers bought a former Birchwood Foods meat plant in Frankfort and plans to reopen it this summer. Indiana Packers, which employs 2,000 full time at its Delphi plant, is investing $2.28 million to purchase, renovate

    April 24, 2014

  • Minding the nutrition gap Almost one in five children in Cass County who sometimes don't have access to enough food for a healthy life aren't eligible for federal assistance programs designed to address that lack, a new study indicates. Feeding America's Map the Meal Gap proj

    April 24, 2014

  • Police blotter: April 23, 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.

    April 23, 2014

  • Mall mortgage up for auction The mortgage note for the Logansport Mall is scheduled to be sold at auction early next month. Foreclosure procedures for the mall began when lawyers for Algonquin State Bank, N.A., out of Algonquin, Ill., filed a complaint against the mall's owner -

    April 23, 2014

  • NWS-PT042314 Earth Day4.jpg Being kind to their mother: Lewis Cass students plant trees on Earth Day WALTON -- Weeks of planning came together Tuesday as students planted 22 trees on the grounds of Lewis Cass Jr.-Sr. High School in observance of Earth Day. Amy Densborn, a science teacher at Lewis Cass, wanted to plant the trees so that students in s

    April 23, 2014 5 Photos

  • NWS-PT042314 Bags.jpg Students collect 2,475 pounds of plastic bags The Cass County Solid Waste Management District now knows to be careful what you ask for. The district opted to again this year host its plastic shopping bag contest for area elementary schools in observance of Earth Day. Overall, the district recei

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Inmate sues for religious services at Miami County prison BUNKER HILL – A Native American inmate is suing the Miami Correctional Facility for violating his constitutional religious freedom after the prison last year terminated Native American worship services. Daniel Littlepage says in a class action lawsui

    April 22, 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
US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents Obama Reassures Japan on China Raw: Car Crashes Into San Antonio Pool Time Magazine Announces Top Influencers List Raw: Angry Relatives Confront SKorea Officials Bigger Riders Means Bigger Horses Out West Yankees Pineda Ejected for Pine Tar Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US
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 mushroom hunters be allowed to forage off-trail in Indiana state parks?

Yes
No
Undecided
     View Results
eEdition