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Gov. Pence’s Healthy Indiana Plan Drawing Criticism, Support

Gov. Pence met with governors in Washington, D.C. to discuss how to solve problems at the state level.

Governor Mike Pence‘s proposal to replace Medicaid with an expanded Healthy Indiana Plan has brought compliments and criticism from unexpected places.

Several conservative think tanks have slammed Pence for accepting Obamacare’s broadened Medicaid eligibility. One dismisses the plan as “free-market window dressing.”

Pence says the reaction inside Indiana has been enthusiastic on both sides of the aisle, something he says he hopes federal officials will note when they consider whether to approve the plan. The governor says he’s encouraged by positive comments at last week‘s required public hearings and notes administration officials have been traveling the state conducting more informal sessions.

“State Rep. Charlie Brown introduced me at a forum at IU Northwest to hear from Republican and Democrat leadership, to hear from conservative voices, and even more progressive voices on the left in Indiana,” Pence says. “A chorus of support for this has been very, very encouraging.”

Pence is proposing to increase eligibility from 100 percent to 138 percent of the poverty, while introducing a new stripped-down coverage plan for people who don‘t want to set money aside in the health savings accounts HIP relies on. And Pence has proposed a state premium subsidy through HIP for people who want their employers‘ insurance plans but can‘t afford them.

Pence says the expansion is financially sustainable, even after full federal funding is cut back to 90 percent in 2020.

The Indiana Hospital Association has pledged $50 million to plug the gap.

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