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Pence, Sebelius to meet on health care expansion proposals

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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is scheduling a meeting with U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius about the state’s request to use its own health care plan in place of a traditional Medicaid expansion.

Sebelius said in a letter received by the state Wednesday that her office is willing to work with the state to make the Healthy Indiana Plan comply with federal rules for expanded coverage. But she made clear that a number of HIP’s rules are not acceptable to federal officials.

Pence had requested the meeting in a letter Nov. 15. In her response, Sebelius did not mention an in-person meeting. But Pence’s staff said the offices are working to set one up for February when Pence will be in Washington, D.C., for a National Governors Association event.

I am grateful for the timely response from Secretary Sebelius and for her willingness to meet to discuss this matter further,” Pence said in a prepared statement. “We remain committed to good-faith negotiations with the Obama Administration to determine whether Indiana can use our proven consumer-driven health care model to expand health care coverage in Indiana.”

The federal Affordable Care Act required states to expand Medicaid so that it served more people with higher incomes. But the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Congress couldn’t order the states to make the change.

Since then, Indiana has been trying to convince federal officials to let it use the Healthy Indiana Plan – which requires recipients to share the cost of health coverage – as its Medicaid expansion.

So far, federal authorities have only OK’d a one-year expansion of HIP. Sebelius said in her letter that the state will have to submit a request by June 30 to extend HIP beyond 2014.

But she said the federal law doesn’t allow Indiana to receive full Medicaid reimbursement for the plan because it requires some of the poorest Hoosiers to contribute to the cost of the insurance and puts caps on enrollment.

However, the secretary said new rules would allow the state to use co-pays for Hoosiers who earn more than the federal poverty level, which is $11,490 for a single person.

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  1. Now if he'd just stay there...

  2. Daniel - what about the many US citizens who do NOT follow what the Bible teaches? The Hindus, Jews, Muslims and others who are all American citizens entitled to all rights as Americans?? This issue has NOTHING to do with "What the Bible says..." Keep all Churches separate from State! Pence's ongoing idiocy continues to make Indiana look like a backwards, homophobic state in the eyes of our nation. Can't we move on to bigger issues - like educating our kids?

  3. 1. IBJ should link to the referenced report. We are in the age of electronic media...not sharing information is lazy. Here is a link http://www.in.gov/gov/files/Blue_Ribbon_Panel_Report_July_9_2014.pdf 2. The article should provide more clarity about the make-up of this panel. The commenters are making this item out to be partisan, it does not appear the panel is partisan. Here is a list of the panel which appears to be balanced with different SME to add different perspectives http://www.in.gov/activecalendar/EventList.aspx?view=EventDetails&eventidn=138116?formation_id=189603 3. It suggests a by-pass, I do not see where this report suggests another "loop". 4. Henry, based on your kneejerk reaction, we would be better off if you moved to another state unless your post was meant as sarcasm in which case I say Well Done. 5. The article and report actually indicates need to improve rail and port infrastructure in direct contradiction to Shayla commentary. Specifically, recommendation is to consider passenger rail projects... 6. People have a voice with their elected officials. These are suggestions and do not represent "crony capitalism", etc. The report needs to be analyzed and the legislature can decide on priorities and spending. Don't like it, then vote in a new legislature but quit artificially creating issues where there are none! People need to sift through the politics and provide constructive criticism to the process rather than making uninformed comments in a public forum based on misinformation. IBJ should work harder to correct the record in these forums when blatant errors or misrepresentations are made.

  4. Joe ... Marriage is defined in the Bible ... it is mentioned in the Bible often. Marriage is not mentioned once in the US or Indiana Constitution ...

  5. Daniel - Educate me please: what does the Bible have to do with laws? If the government wasn't in the business of marriage to begin with, then it wouldn't have to "define" marriage at all. Marriage could be left as a personal, religious, or otherwise unregulated action, with no ties to taxes, legal status, etc. Then people could marry whomever they want, and all this silliness would go away. Remember to vote Libertarian in November.

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