2013 Indiana General Assembly

Medicaid expansion doesn't get House vote

2013-02-25T18:00:00Z 2013-02-25T20:26:04Z Medicaid expansion doesn't get House voteDan Carden dan.carden@nwi.com, (317) 637-9078 nwitimes.com
February 25, 2013 6:00 pm  • 

INDIANAPOLIS | The House did not vote prior to a Monday deadline on legislation to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act using the Healthy Indiana Plan as a model.

State Rep. Ed Clere, R-New Albany, the sponsor of House Bill 1591, said he didn't call for a vote on the proposal because there wasn't a consensus among the Republican majority and he didn't want to lock representatives in to a "no" vote in the future.

"Unfortunately, the bill was introduced late in the first half of the session and based on conversations over the last several days there's just too much unease with this issue right now, and we can get to a better place if we slow down and take our time with it," Clere said.

The Senate on Tuesday is expected to approve Senate Bill 551, which similarly requires state health officials to seek federal permission to use the Healthy Indiana Plan, which requires monthly premium payments from beneficiaries, to cover up to 400,000 low-income, uninsured Hoosiers.

However, if the federal government does not approve a HIP-based expansion those Hoosiers not only will be denied Medicaid but also unable to obtain federal tax credits to buy private insurance.

A proposal by state Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Ogden Dunes, to expand Medicaid without conditions through 2016, when Indiana would begin paying a portion of Medicaid expenses for new enrollees, was rejected by the Senate on Monday.

Clere said that when Senate Bill 551 gets to the House he'll continue working with representatives and Republican Gov. Mike Pence to find a Medicaid expansion plan acceptable to all.

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