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Legislature Mostly Done Talking About Affordable Care Act

House Speaker Brian Bosma says the legislature is largely finished dealing with implementation of the Affordable Care Act this session.

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Photo: Bill Shaw/Indiana Public Media News

Lawmakers still plan not to expand health care coverage in Indiana through the Medicaid program.

Both the House and Senate proposed legislation guiding the Pence administration on ways to proceed with implementation of the federal healthcare bill.  But the House bill failed to pass and Ways and Means Chair Tim Brown put a halt to the Senate bill, saying legislation passed in 2011 allowing the governor to negotiate for expansion through the Healthy Indiana Plan was adequate.  House Speaker Brian Bosma says he doesn’t see the legislature requiring any action by the governor.

“While this is not an opinion held by all, obviously, the leadership in the majority party in each house has indicated their support for the governor in his position on Medicaid at this point,” Bosma says.

The Senate budget put aside more than half a billion dollars over the biennium to fund HIP – if it’s renewed by the federal government – or another program if HIP is rejected.  But House Minority Leader Scott Pelath worries about what will happen if Hoosiers are left without options, saying the Republican majorities haven’t done enough to embrace alternatives.

“When they realize they’ve been paying federal taxes and getting nothing in return for it but merely to pay for healthcare for people in other states, it’s not going to be a fun time to serve in state government and I think they should realize that,” Pelath says.

Governor Pence has been clear since he took office that any healthcare expansion through the Affordable Care Act must begin with the Healthy Indiana Plan, ruling out expansion through the Medicaid program.

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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