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Legislative Summer Committee To Study Affordable Care Act

Democrats say the most pressing healthcare issues the state faces aren’t on the committee’s agenda.

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Photo: Bill Shaw/Indiana Public Media News

Many health facilities are trying to balance availability with cost.

The Health Finance Commission is charged with studying a health insurance exchange and essential health benefits. The exchange is a marketplace for insurers and consumers. The essential health benefits are core provisions the federal healthcare law mandates basic insurance packages must include — such as emergency services, prescription drug coverage and mental health care.

But the deadlines for state action on those issues have passed… and Governor Mike Pence already decided to cede control of the exchange to the federal government. Still, Indianapolis Republican Senator Pat Miller, who heads the study committee, says the topic is still worth consideration this summer.

“The state has to ability to opt in and take those programs, if we choose, sometime in the future and then there’s a lot of information we still don’t have about what all is going to be covered in some of the exchange plans, what are basic healthcare coverage that will even be provided for Hoosiers, so I think there are still a lot of questions and a lot of issues to be addressed,” Miller says.

Indianapolis Democratic Senator Jean Breaux says the biggest issue the state needs to focus on now is considering expansion of health insurance coverage.

“That is something that I think it will be incumbent upon all of us on the Health Finance Committee to insist upon updates and understanding where the state of Indiana is with regard to implementation of the Affordable Care Act.”

Breaux says she’d also like to see Indiana take control of the health insurance exchange.

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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