Thursday, January 29, 2015

Democrats and Federal Acceptance of HIP 2

The New York Times reports that advocates of the Affordable Care Act view the agreement on an expanded Healthy Indiana in lieu of expanded Medicare as a win for the Obama administration, because it could "give other conservative states cover" to participate in the ACA's Medicare expansion.

WANE.com reports that Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane called the HIP 2 approval a “victory for working Hoosiers” but says he’s concerned that Pence left thousands of people without health care coverage who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid and too little for insurance subsidies. Lanane says the plan will drive down premiums for insured Indiana residents and eliminate use of emergency rooms for primary care.

House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath said he is thankful low-income Hoosiers no longer will be forced to rely on expensive emergency room care for their health needs, though the resolution took longer than it should have. Pelath said, "While there are countless disagreements over the means to achieve health care affordability, when President Obama and Mike Pence agree, we ought to feel some modest satisfaction, take stock of our future and move forward. Now come the nitty-gritty details of making this work."

Pence also cited the efforts of two Democrats Rep. Pete Visclosky of Merrillville and Sen. Joe Donnelly in helping to persuade the Obama administration to accept HIP 2 as a substitute for Medicare expansion.

Read more from the Northwest Indiana Times here. The best explanation of the ins-and-outs of the agreement is the New York Times article here.