Governor Mike Pence says he is not pursuing healthcare expansion under the Affordable Care Act through the Medicaid program.
Pence says he met recently with federal Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and assured her he is “passionate” about maintaining the Healthy Indiana Plan, or HIP, the state’s health insurance program for low-income Hoosiers, as an option for the state.
And he said any discussion of healthcare expansion has to begin with using HIP.
“I have two priorities – it’s the health of the people of Indiana and the fiscal health of our state,” Pence says. “And the Healthy Indiana Plan meets both.”
The Indiana Senate this week, in line with the governor’s plan, passed legislation requesting the federal government give the state Medicaid dollars in block grant form, allowing Indiana to use HIP.
But House Minority Leader Scott Pelath says that leaves the state without a backup plan.
“The federal government is not going to pay Indiana to be stubborn,” Pelath says. “That block grant idea, it’s just ludicrous on its face.”
Republican lawmakers have indicated the Senate legislation is likely to change in the House.