Democrats call the announcement of a one-year extension of the Healthy Indiana Plan the “bare minimum” uninsured Hoosiers could hope for.
House Minority Leader Scott Pelath (D-Michigan City) says he‘s glad HIP will continue for current patients, but says it‘s an “embarrassment” that Governor Pence hasn‘t joined other Republican governors in accepting federal money to expand Medicaid eligibility.
Pence has said he‘s willing to expand Medicaid only if it can be done through HIP. The one-year extension buys time for Indiana to negotiate with the Department of Health and Human Services over whether and how to do that. Pelath says HIP was never meant to operate on that scale, and charges Pence has turned it into a “vanity project” to enhance his resume for a possible presidential run.
Pelath and Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) argue Hoosiers are already paying for the expansion of Medicaid through their tax dollars. By not implementing the expansion, they say, the state is paying for health coverage in other states while leaving more than 300-thousand Hoosiers uninsured.
And Pelath says the state is sacrificing 30-thousand new health-care jobs he says a Medicaid expansion would create.