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Sens. Pat Miller, Kenley Author Legislation to Give Indiana More Flexibility Under Obamacare
Start Date: 2/26/2013Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 2/27/2013End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description

STATEHOUSE (Feb. 26, 2013) — Legislation authored by State Sens. Pat Miller (R-Indianapolis) and Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville) to give Indiana more flexibility under the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed the full Senate today by a 44-6 vote.

The main provision of Senate Bill 551 seeks federal approval to expand the state-created Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) to all Hoosiers who make up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level as a substitute to the ACA’s Medicaid expansion. It would also ask the federal government to provide Medicaid funding in the form of a block grant, so Indiana could administer the health-care program with greater flexibility.

“The Healthy Indiana Plan provides low-income Hoosiers with access to health care in a way that promotes personal responsibility and financial accountability,” Miller said. “It has worked extremely well in our state for several years now, and I would like to see it continue. Indiana should have the option to pursue a health-care plan that works for Hoosiers, instead of being forced to implement a one-size-fits-all Washington mandate.”

HIP was established in 2008 by legislation Miller authored. The program provides qualifying uninsured Hoosiers with commercial health insurance and state support to meet the premiums. Approximately 100,000 Hoosiers have been served by the program since its inception.

“In terms of federal health-care costs and Medicaid expansion, legislators and all Hoosiers must be aware that whatever commitments we make today are going to be commitments we have to fulfill for a long time," Kenley said. "The Affordable Care Act is a huge expense, and we must push to come up with the right option for Indiana. We need a program that encourages people to use consumer attitudes, where they measure the cost and share in the cost. HIP may be our best option to do that. This is still a work in progress.”

The bill also includes protection for Hoosiers who select their health-care plan through the ACA’s exchanges by setting standards for who can advise and enroll exchange participants and giving the Indiana Department of Insurance oversight of plans on the exchange.

SB 551 now moves to the House of Representatives for further consideration.

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