GOP Budget Indicates Medicaid Expansion Is Unlikely

The budget proposed Friday does not include money for Medicaid expansion in Indiana.

medical equipment

Photo: William Hartz (flickr)

Hospitals say Medicaid expansion would cover costs they already provide to uninsured patients, but the state says it would be too expensive in the long run.

The budget unveiled by House Republicans on Friday does not include funding for the Medicaid expansion proposed under the Affordable Care Act.

About 92,000 Hoosiers are expected to join the Medicaid rolls over the next few years because the Affordable Care Act requires people to buy health insurance. The proposed state budget only includes enough money to cover those individuals. It does not provide any funding for expanding Medicaid eligibility.

Even though the federal government will pay 100 percent of the costs for the first three years, House Ways and Means Committee Chair Tim Brown says he is worried about the cost several years out when the state would be required to pay a greater share of the expense.

“To say after three years we’re going to cut a program that people have,” he says. “You look at the problems we have at the federal level on trimming expenditures in programs that have been in place.  We have the same kind of problems and dynamics at the state level.”

Several reports have estimated the economic benefit and cost of Medicaid expansion, but Indiana University Professor Beth Cate, who studies state-federal partnerships, says it’s not simple addition and subtraction.

“It’s really kind of multifaceted because you don’t just look at the tax dollars in and how do you isolate the benefits coming out but what are all of the other kind of expanding economic impacts,” she says.

The state is still waiting to hear from the federal government on whether it will give Indiana money to cover more low-income individuals under its existing Healthy Indiana Plan instead of the traditional Medicaid expansion plan.

Tim Brown and Beth Cate spoke Friday on WFIU’s Noon Edition. Listen to the full show for more on Medicaid expansion in Indiana.

Gretchen Frazee

Gretchen Frazee is a reporter/producer for WFIU and WTIU news. Prior to her current role, Frazee worked as the associate online content coordinator for WFIU/WTIU. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia where she studied multimedia journalism and anthropology. You can follow her on Twitter @gretchenfrazee.

View all posts by this author »

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

Search News

Stay Connected

RSS e-mail itunes Facebook Twitter Flickr YouTube

Follow us on Twitter

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Recent Health Stories

Recent Videos

Find Us on Facebook