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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Ind. Gov't. - Medicaid expansion ...

Updating this ILB entry from Feb. 21st, Eric Bradner of the Evansville Courier & Press has a long Sunday column headed "Pence, some lawmakers at odds on Medicaid expansion." A few quotes:

Meanwhile, a group of moderate legislative Republicans — especially those who represent communities in which hospitals are key economic drivers — were swayed by the 30,000 jobs and the $10 billion economic injection that an expansion would offer, according to a study commissioned by the Indiana Hospital Association.

Many of those Republicans didn’t support President Barack Obama’s health care law in the first place, but now that it’s in effect, they have little interest in continuing to debate a federal issue. Foremost among them is Ed Clere, R-New Albany, who is trying to persuade fellow members to see it his way.

“Frankly, I think there’s some feeling among some legislators that this debate is about the Affordable Care Act, and it’s not. This debate is about the issue of Medicaid expansion in Indiana, and what that would mean for the state,” he said. * * *

The governor called Clere and three other Republican lawmakers into his office for a meeting to send the message that he doesn’t like House Bill 1591. * * *

The House has scheduled Clere’s bill for a vote on Monday — a key day, because it’s the deadline for the chamber to send bills over to the Senate for consideration. * * *

“The legislative session is finite, so we can’t sit around waiting. We’re going to come to a point in the very near future when we will have to act on this issue, regardless of what has or hasn’t come out of Washington,” Clere said.

“It’s a complex issue, there’s no question. But just because it’s complex doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do everything we can to address it fully.”

HB 1591 is on the House third reading calendar for Monday.

Also today, the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette's lead editorial is headed "Time to join Medicaid expansion." It begins:

Gov. Mike Pence made it crystal clear this month he will not permit the state to expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act. But Florida Gov. Rick Scott said the same thing – until he reversed position last week.

If Scott, a former health care executive, has concluded that he can’t in good conscience deny his constituents access to care that expansion would bring, it’s time for Pence and the GOP-controlled Indiana legislature to follow suit. Across the nation, the roll of Republican officials who have reversed course to support Medicaid expansion grows, and for good reason.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 24, 2013 01:24 PM
Posted to Indiana Government