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Indiana Democrats Propose Medicaid Expansion

The proposed bill would create a state-run healthcare exchange, and expand the state’s Medicaid program to add as many as 400,000 Hoosiers.

House and Senate Democrats

Photo: Brandon Smith/IPBS

(From left to right) Rep. Ed DeLaney (D-Indianapolis), Sen. Karen Tallian (D-Portage), Rep. Charlie Brown (D-Gary) and Sen. Mark Stoops (D-Bloomington) announce their proposal to expand Medicaid coverage in the state.

Democratic lawmakers say it’s time for Indiana to begin a serious discussion about healthcare, including potential expansion of Medicaid.

The proposed bill, authored by Portage Senator Karen Tallian, would create a state-run healthcare exchange – a kind of marketplace for insurance companies and customers and expand the state’s Medicaid program to add as many as 400,000 Hoosiers.

Tallian says the Medicaid expansion would not only ensure more Hoosiers have insurance but also bring investment and jobs to the state’s healthcare industry.

“It’s not only fiscally sound to do this but I believe it’s fiscally irresponsible to not do it,” he says.

Indianapolis Democratic Representative Ed DeLaney says failing to implement the Medicaid expansion will create inequalities with other states.

“I’m paying taxes to fund this program on a national basis,” he says. “So I’m going to pay for the guy in Illinois, the guy in Michigan to have this healthcare but I’m not going to give it to my fellow Hoosiers.”

Governor Mike Pence will not rule out expanding Medicaid if the legislature approves it.

“But for me to accept any Medicaid expansion, it would have to be fiscally responsible and it would have to bring with it the ability to continue to provide the kind of innovation in healthcare that Indiana’s been able to advance,” he says.

Pence says expanding Medicaid is a conversation he will leave up to the General Assembly.

Brandon Smith

Brandon Smith 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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