Photo: Asterix611 (flickr)
Governor Mike Pence does not expect the showdown in Washington over the federal health care law to affect Indiana‘s negotiations over implementing it.
The shutdown began with congressional Republicans demanding changes or a funding cutoff to the health care law, and the White House and Senate Democrats refusing to consider it.
The state has been in talks all year with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services over Indiana‘s request to funnel a Medicaid expansion through the Healthy Indiana Plan insurance package.
Governor Pence says the standoff in Washington has not affected those discussions.
“We’re just going to continue to put the health of Hoosiers first, the fiscal health of our state first, as we consider any potential expansion of Medicaid,” he says.
Pence credits the Obama administration with continuing to work with Indiana in good faith, and notes some critics were skeptical the administration would extend HIP‘s existing federal waiver, in light of his own vocal criticism of the health care law.
A one-year extension was granted last month.
It‘s not clear whether CMS staffers involved in those discussions are part of the widespread furloughs caused by the shutdown. Pence says Indiana officials are working hard on the issue regardless.