Lawmakers positive about Healthy Indiana Plan proposal

An expansion of the Healthy Indiana Plan, which Gov. Mike Pence announced Thursday, received overall positive reviews from Republican and Democratic lawmakers.

Dubbed "HIP 2.0," the proposal would replace traditional Medicaid and offer health insurance coverage to thousands of Hoosiers who currently are uninsured.

Sen. Patricia Miller, R-Indianapolis, who helped start the current HIP program, said she was pleased the governor had found “an innovative solution to offer coverage to uninsured Hoosiers through the Healthy Indiana Plan.”

“Providing consumer-driven, market-based health care coverage to low-income Hoosiers will again make Indiana a leader in the nation on alternatives to simply expanding Medicaid,” she said.

Indiana Republican Party State Chairman Tim Berry said HIP 2.0 is a “bipartisan-supported and patient-driven alternative to traditional Medicaid.”

“Gov. Mike Pence’s plan to expand this successful program will help cover many of Indiana’s uninsured,” Berry said. “Our state is leading the way in providing innovative yet fiscally sound ways to deliver health services to those in need – all without raising taxes. ”

Congressman Todd Young, IN-9, said he supported the state’s efforts.

“Long before the federal government conceived of Obamacare, Indiana developed an innovative, bipartisan program to provide health care for Hoosiers who couldn’t afford it on their own: the Healthy Indiana Plan, or HIP,” Young said. ““While the federal health care law has threatened its existence, Gov. Pence and his team have worked tirelessly to adapt HIP to meet new federal mandates while preserving the core mechanics that made HIP work for Hoosiers.”

On the other side of the aisle, Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane of Anderson said that while it is a case of “better late than never,” he is encouraged by any effort to help uninsured Hoosiers.

“It is regrettable it has taken us a year and cost us $1.4 billion before we were able to come up with a plan that the federal government will consider,” Lanane said. ““Hopefully this signals a change of heart in the governor’s approach to giving Hoosiers the health care options they are looking for and provides them with more options than an emergency room visit when they are in need of medical care.”

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