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Hoosier legislators wary of Medicaid expansion

Brandon Smith
Indiana Public Broadcasting

State lawmakers say discussion over how best to implement the Affordable Care Act will continue in the second half of this year’s legislative session.  But Republican leaders say uncertainty about the financial burden placed on the state by Medicaid expansion likely eliminates that option.

Fully expanding Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act would add around 400,000 more Hoosiers to the program.  For the first three years, the federal government will cover the entire cost.  After that, the cost would be split, with the federal government eventually contributing 90%. 

Senate President Pro Tem David Long says he doesn’t have confidence in that plan.

“I don’t know any leader, Republican or Democrat, in this country that I’ve talked to that, for instance, believes that, in 2020 when it goes to a 90/10 share, that it’s not going to be a lot worse than that.”

Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane says there’s no basis for that lack of trust.

“This is what the law is and we have to make a decision based on upon facts, not speculation,” Lanane said.

Republican leaders continue to urge the federal government to allow the state to utilize the Healthy Indiana Plan, the state’s health insurance program for low-income Hoosiers, as the vehicle for healthcare expansion.