Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Breaking News

April 3, 2013

Medicaid mandate issued to Pence

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has insisted he won’t expand what he calls the “broken” Medicaid health insurance program for the poor, but some state legislators are encouraging him to do so, even if it’s called by another name.

On Monday, the House Public Health Committee passed legislation that mandates Pence negotiate with the federal government to find a way to use expanded Medicaid funds to provide healthcare coverage for more than 400,000 uninsured Hoosiers.

The 8-5 bipartisan vote on Senate Bill 551 supports a plan put forth by Pence that exclusively ties Medicaid expansion under the federal Affordable Care Act to the state’s Healthy Indiana Plan.  

But it also nudges Pence to go further if the federal government rejects his proposal – a nudge that the Pence administration questioned as valid at a hearing last week.

“We want the (Pence) administration to make a good-faith effort, it’s best effort, to create an option to cover these uninsured Hoosiers,” said state Rep. Ed Clere, a New Albany Republican who chairs the House Public Health Committee.

Senate Bill 551, as passed by the Senate, contained language that suggested Pence negotiate with the federal government about how to implement a provision in the Affordable Care Act that calls for states to expand the traditional Medicaid program to cover the working poor.

The House committee beefed up that language and also gave the state an out: If the federal government doesn’t come through with the billions of dollars promised to the state to expand Medicaid — as Pence fears — the state could pull back from the expansion.

Pence has insisted he won’t expand Medicaid coverage as called for under the ACA. But he has asked the federal government to give Indiana millions of more Medicaid dollars to expand the state’s current program for the uninsured, known as the Healthy Indiana Plan.

The state plan, known as HIP, currently covers about 40,000 Hoosiers who aren’t eligible for Medicaid but who can’t afford to buy private health insurance. HIP contains co-pays, high deductibles, spending limits, and other restrictions that don’t jibe with the federal Medicaid program.

That’s why some legislators fear the federal government won’t approve HIP as a substitute for expanding the traditional Medicaid program. And they fear Indiana will lose out on more than $10.5 billion in federal Medicaid dollars over the next six years that could be used to cover Indiana’s uninsured.

But Clere expressed some cautious optimism for Pence’s plan. He noted that Arkansas has received tentative approval from the federal government to use federal Medicaid expansion dollars to subsidize the purchase of private health insurance for low-income residents who would qualify for coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Ohio is also in negotiations to do something similar.

Clere said that indicates the federal government is more flexible than it appeared to be just a few months ago. Clere said he wants to encourage Pence to take advantage of that flexibility.

“I have to believe that Gov. Pence would like to find a way to give hard-working Hoosiers, who can’t afford health insurance, access to affordable health care,” Clere said.

What Senate Bill 551 means, if anything, is unclear. At a recent hearing on the bill, Debra Minott, the Pence-appointed head of the Family and Social Services Administration, said the governor believes state law already allows FSSA to negotiate with the federal government on the Affordable Care Act and that nothing more is needed from the General Assembly.

Clere responded with polite disagreement: “This is a major policy decision. And I’ll be disappointed if the Legislature decides not to weigh in with substantive and meaningful legislation.”

The original Affordable Care Act required states to expand Medicaid to adults earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, about $32,500 annually for a family of four. A Supreme Court decision last summer made the expansion optional for states but kept in place financial incentives. The federal government has agreed fully fund the expansion for the first three years, with the states’ share gradually increasing to 10 percent by 2020.

Maureen Hayden can be reached at maureen.hayden@indianamediagroup.com

1
Text Only
Breaking News
  • Kulp is new Goshen softball coach Brent Kulp was hired as the new Goshen High School softball coach at Monday night’s school board meeting. He was a physical education and health teacher in the Baugo Community Schools for 18 years and head softball coach at Jimtown High School for 15 seasons. Under his direction, Jimtown earned five Northern State Conference championships, five sectional titles and two regional titles and his teams compiled an overall record of 285-133-1.

    July 28, 2014

  • Middlebury man burned in water heater blast 
 MIDDLEBURY — Authorities say a Middlebury man has been hospitalized after he was injured when a water heater exploded. Firefighters tell WSBT-TV the man in his 20s was trying to light a water heater that had run out of gas and used too much fuel. The

    July 26, 2014

  • Clinton Frame leaving IN-MI Mennonite Conference over same-sex marriage

    After nearly 100 years of being in the Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference, Clinton Frame Mennonite Church officials announced it will be leaving because of the controversy related to same-sex marriage.

    July 24, 2014

  • Red D Mart armed robbery New Paris Police ask for public's help in identifying would-be robber

    Elkhart County police have released still photos captured from video of the man who attempted to hold up Red D Mart gas station, 68310 Ind. 15, New Paris, on Saturday, July 19.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Red Cross in urgent need of donors

    The American Red Cross is facing a blood shortage, leading to an urgent need for donors of all blood types to roll up a sleeve and give.

    July 23, 2014

  • Huron Street residents under boil order

    Tuesday morning, Goshen water crews shut down the water main on Huron Street to replace a broken fire hydrant.
    The Indiana Department of Environmental Management requires the Water Utility to issue a boil water order for the affected area, which is Huron Street from West Lincoln to Pike Street.

    July 23, 2014

  • GN140723 CR34-Ind. 13 Crash 1 LaGrange man airlifted from scene of crash A motorcyclist was seriously injured in a crash at Ind. 13 and C.R. 34 at 1:48 p.m. Tuesday. Terry Fry, 44, LaGrange, was airlifted by MedFlight from the scene. Elkhart County police said he was taken to South Bend Memorial Hospital with fractures to

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Suspicious blinking package with battery pack causes police to evacuate business area

    A package with a battery pack and a blinking red light found on the desk of an employee at MSC, 28551 Laura Court, Elkhart, caused police and firefighters to evacuate the area this morning.
    The package turned out to be a GPS tracking device and not a bomb.

    July 22, 2014

  • Cat beaten to death in burglary

    A house cat was found beaten to death following a burglary at a home in Howe Sunday.

    July 21, 2014

  • GN140721 Kosciusko Fatal Photo #2.jpg Fiery crash kills one, critically injures two in North Webster

    A fiery crash in North Webster left a Pennsylvania man dead and two others critically injured at 3:21 p.m. Sunday on Ind. 13, near Esterbrook Drive.

    July 21, 2014 4 Photos

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Poll

With military action and tensions escalating between Russia and Ukraine, as well as Israel and Palestine, are you worried that the U.S. and other nations may get drawn into these conflicts?

Yes, it is a great concern of mine
I’m a little worried, but not too much
No, I’m not worried at all
     View Results