IN Democrats unveil health care proposal

Jan 17, 2013

Democratic lawmakers say it’s time for Indiana to begin a serious discussion about healthcare, including potential expansion of Medicaid.  They have proposed legislation dealing with implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

The proposed bill authored by Senator Karen Tallian (D-Portage) would create a state-run healthcare exchange – a kind of marketplace for insurance companies and customers. It also would expand the state’s Medicaid program to add as many as 400,000 Hoosiers.

Tallian says the Medicaid expansion would not only ensure more Hoosiers have insurance, but also bring investment and jobs to the state’s healthcare industry.

“It’s not only fiscally sound to do this but I believe it’s fiscally irresponsible to not do it.”

Governor Mike Pence says he won’t rule out expanding Medicaid if the legislature approves it.

“But for me to accept any Medicaid expansion, it would have to be fiscally responsible and it would have to bring with it the ability to continue to provide the kind of innovation in healthcare that Indiana’s been able to advance.”

Pence says expanding Medicaid is a conversation he’ll leave up to the General Assembly. 

Representative Ed DeLaney (D-Indianapolis) says failing to implement the Medicaid expansion will create inequalities with other states.

“I’m paying taxes to fund this program on a national basis.  So, I’m going to pay for the guy in Illinois, the guy in Michigan to have this healthcare, but I’m not going to give it to my fellow Hoosiers?”