IBJNews

Indiana Democrats pushing for more health care action

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Democratic lawmakers pushed Wednesday for Indiana to take steps toward implementing the federal health care overhaul that Republicans who control state government have so far rejected.

States have the option of setting up their own insurance exchanges to allow individuals and small businesses to compare and buy private insurance policies. They also can partner with the federal government, or if they fail to act, the federal government will run one for them.

Republican Gov. Mike Pence, who took office Monday, has ruled out a state-run health insurance exchange in Indiana, arguing its estimated $50 million cost wouldn't be worth the limited autonomy the state would gain.

Democrats maintain a state-run exchange would better serve residents, and Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Portage, said that she has filed a bill to put one in place.

"We need to get on board with setting up this exchange," Tallian said. "We need local control and participation in this is inevitable. ... There's no reason why, just off the top, we should ignore the possibility of doing an Indiana-controlled exchange."

Republicans dominate both the Indiana House and Senate and several of them have previously attacked the Affordable Care Act backed by President Barack Obama as burdensome and unconstitutional.

The decision by Pence, who opposed the overhaul while he was in Congress, likely means the federal government alone will design the online marketplace that Indiana residents will use to choose among health insurance policies when coverage begins in 2014.

Last year's U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the health care law makes the overhaul impossible for the states to ignore, and Indiana officials should talk more about how to develop a state-run exchange that will work best for Indiana residents, said Rep. Ed DeLaney, D-Indianapolis.

"I'm paying taxes to fund this program on a national basis, so I'm going to pay for the guy in Illinois and guy in Michigan to have this health care, but I'm not going to give it to my fellow Hoosiers," DeLaney said.

Republican House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Tim Brown said he believed the state should be cautious before taking the step of in starting its own exchange.

"There's going to be a lot of inefficiencies in the beginning," Brown said. "States that are going to go to a state-only exchange, I think, are going to have a lot of growing pains. So hopefully Indiana can learn and make a decision at a later date whether it is worthwhile."

Tallian's bill also calls for an eligibility expansion for the state's Medicaid program by raising the income limits for a family of four to $33,000. She said the state's current Medicaid cutoff for such families is $4,100 a year and that the change would provide health care coverage to as many as 400,000 people, with federal funding covering most of the cost.

Brown said he was leery of eligibility expansion when the cost of the state's current Medicaid program was projected to grow by between 11 percent and 17 percent over the next two years.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Good for those who have access to healthcare only
    What about those of us or those we love who's employer does not provide health insurance. The public option comes as a relief to those who can not afford to privatly insure themselves. Try going without coverage or shop pricing before nixing the public option or federal healthcare as a bad plan. I guess I don't understand how requiring people to be covered and actually pay into the healthcare system (even if they don't use it) would be bad for the state / country. Seems as if conservatives would support this option.
  • Good
    The GOP must stand up to the tax more/spend more crowd. Evelyn - try turning off CNN
  • What do you expect from Rebuplicans?
    The GOP is against anything that will help the middle class. They really do not give a darn about us at all. I do not understand how the people of Indiana can be so uncaring and such right wing nuts.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. If what you stated is true, then this article is entirely inaccurate. "State sells bonds" is same as "State borrows money". Supposedly the company will "pay for them". But since we are paying the company, we are still paying for this road with borrowed money, even though the state has $2 billion in the bank.

  2. Andrew hit the nail on the head. AMTRAK provides terrible service and that is why the state has found a contractor to improve the service. More trips, on-time performance, better times, cleanliness and adequate or better restrooms. WI-FI and food service will also be provided. Transit from outlying areas will also be provided. I wouldn't take it the way it is but with the above services and marketing of the service,ridership will improve and more folks will explore Indy and may even want to move here.

  3. They could take the property using eminent domain and save money by not paying the church or building a soccer field and a new driveway. Ctrwd has monthly meetings open to all customers of the district. The meetings are listed and if the customers really cared that much they would show. Ctrwd works hard in every way they can to make sure the customer is put first. Overflows damage the surrounding environment and cost a lot of money every year. There have been many upgrades done through the years to help not send flow to Carmel. Even with the upgrades ctrwd cannot always keep up. I understand how a storage tank could be an eye sore, but has anyone thought to look at other lift stations or storage tanks. Most lift stations are right in the middle of neighborhoods. Some close to schools and soccer fields, and some right in back yards, or at least next to a back yard. We all have to work together to come up with a proper solution. The proposed solution by ctrwd is the best one offered so far.

  4. Fox has comments from several people that seem to have some inside information. I would refer to their website. Changed my whole opionion of this story.

  5. This place is great! I'm piggy backing and saying the Cobb salad is great. But the ribs are awesome. $6.49 for ribs and 2 sides?! They're delicious. If you work downtown, head over there.

ADVERTISEMENT