Committee At Odds With Governor Over Medicaid Expansion Bill

The Pence administration says changes made to the bill hurt the state’s ability to negotiate with the federal government.

HIP

Photo: Brandon Smith/IPBS

Governor Mike Pence disagrees with changes made to the bill, but Health Committee Chair Ed Clere says the amendment allows the state to use whatever expansion model is best for Indiana.

The House Public Health Committee approved changes Monday to the bill that include removing language urging federal Medicaid dollars be given to Indiana in block grant form, requiring the state to end healthcare expansion if the federal government does not contribute the funds it has promised and prompting the Pence administration to continue negotiating for expansion.

Sen. Pat Miller (R-Indianapolis), the bill’s author, says the changes will hamper Indiana’s ability to implement the best program it can.

“I think the federal government will become more flexible in their negotiation, and I just want Indiana in the best position possible to negotiate with the federal government and my concern is that this amendment has limited some of our negotiation ability,” he says.

But Health Committee Chair Ed Clere says the amendment allows the state to use whatever expansion model it deems best for Indiana.

“This bill attempts to give the administration maximum flexibility to negotiate once the legislature is no longer in session, but it does require the administration to at least try to strike a deal,” Clere says.

The committee passed the bill eight to five, with all five “no” votes coming from Republicans.

Senator Miller and Representative Clere both noted negotiation regarding the bill’s language will continue as the measure moves through the legislative process.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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