Indiana Democrats to seek Medicaid expansion

February 8, 2013

Democratic leaders in the Indiana General Assembly are seeking expanded Medicaid coverage with the argument that it will lower health care costs statewide.

House Minority Leader Scott Pelath and Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane said Friday that Indiana risks becoming an "island of the uninsured" as other Republican-led states approve the federal expansion.

Gov. Mike Pence, a Republican, announced this week he will oppose an expansion unless the state's health savings accounts plan is approved as an alternative.

Opponents of the Medicaid expansion have said it would cost the state too much money. An actuary hired by former Gov. Mitch Daniels determined the expansion would cost $95 million next year and jump to $525 million by 2020.

Democrats say that analysis ignores cost savings as residents stop relying on emergency-room care.

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