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State officials explain extension for Healthy Indiana Plan

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A top state official on Monday defended efforts to extend the Healthy Indiana Plan by a year rather than immediately expand Medicaid, explaining to lawmakers that it was federal officials — not Gov. Mike Pence — who pushed for changes to who qualifies for the state-run program.

Family and Social Services Administration Secretary Debra Minott took questions on the Healthy Indiana Plan two weeks after the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services signed off on a one-year extension and some sizable changes to the program, including a new limit on earnings.

The state will soon only accept residents earning up to 100 percent of the federal poverty, or $11,500 for a single adult. It now takes individuals earning up to 200 percent of the poverty level, although the program also has an extensive waiting list. The change, Minott said, should allow the state to increase enrollment from 35,000 to 45,000 low-income residents.

Pence originally sought to expand Medicaid under the federal health care law using the state-run plan, a move that would have covered more than 400,000 uninsured residents. But that request was delayed while the state negotiated a continuation of the plan, which had been operating under a federal waiver set to expire at the end of the year.

"The initial application we filed in April included expansion as a whole, and the governor requested that we deal with the issue sequentially because he was concerned that the negotiations may become protracted and that the current participants in HIP may be left hanging at the end of the year," Minott told members of the General Assembly's Health Finance Commission.

She later noted it was CMS officials who sought to lower the eligibility cap, not Pence officials. CMS didn't immediately respond to an email from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Opponents of expanding Medicaid say it would cost the state too much money, while supporters argue inaction will deprive Indiana of billions of dollars in federal aid.

Democratic lawmakers, vastly outnumbered in both the Senate and House, continued to raise their frustrations over the delay and a lack of clear answers from the Pence administration.

"It's very much of a concern," said Sen. Mark Stoops, D-Bloomington. "For instance, IU Health has announced it will have 800 layoffs. Part of that is because they're restricted based on provisions in the Affordable Care Act and because Indiana has not gone ahead and accepted the Medicaid expansion."

The Medicaid debate comes just ahead of the opening of the federal exchange residents will use to buy coverage. Indiana's federal-run exchange is set to open Oct. 1, and plans must be purchased by Jan. 1.

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  1. Of what value is selling alcoholic beverages to State Fair patrons when there are many families with children attending. Is this the message we want to give children attending and participating in the Fair, another venue with alooholic consumption onsite. Is this to promote beer and wine production in the state which are great for the breweries and wineries, but where does this end up 10-15 years from now, lots more drinkers for the alcoholic contents. If these drinks are so important, why not remove the alcohol content and the flavor and drink itself similar to soft drinks would be the novelty, not the alcoholic content and its affects on the drinker. There is no social or material benefit from drinking alcoholic beverages, mostly people want to get slightly or highly drunk.

  2. I did;nt know anyone in Indiana could count- WHY did they NOT SAY just HOW this would be enforced? Because it WON;T! NOW- with that said- BIG BROTHER is ALIVE in this Article-why take any comment if it won't appease YOU PEOPLE- that's NOT American- with EVERYTHING you indicated is NOT said-I can see WHY it say's o Comments- YOU are COMMIES- BIG BROTHER and most likely- voted for Obama!

  3. In Europe there are schools for hairdressing but you don't get a license afterwards but you are required to assist in turkey and Italy its 7 years in japan it's 10 years England 2 so these people who assist know how to do hair their not just anybody and if your an owner and you hire someone with no experience then ur an idiot I've known stylist from different countries with no license but they are professional clean and safe they have no license but they have experience a license doesn't mean anything look at all the bad hairdressers in the world that have fried peoples hair okay but they have a license doesn't make them a professional at their job I think they should get rid of it because stateboard robs stylist and owners and they fine you for the dumbest f***ing things oh ur license isn't displayed 100$ oh ur wearing open toe shoes fine, oh there's ONE HAIR IN UR BRUSH that's a fine it's like really? So I think they need to go or ease up on their regulations because their too strict

  4. Exciting times in Carmel.

  5. Twenty years ago when we moved to Indy I was a stay at home mom and knew not very many people.WIBC was my family and friends for the most part. It was informative, civil, and humerous with Dave the KING. Terri, Jeff, Stever, Big Joe, Matt, Pat and Crumie. I loved them all, and they seemed to love each other. I didn't mind Greg Garrison, but I was not a Rush fan. NOW I can't stand Chicks and all their giggly opinions. Tony Katz is to abrasive that early in the morning(or really any time). I will tune in on Saturday morning for the usual fun and priceless information from Pat and Crumie, mornings it will be 90.1

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