Indiana House Halts Health Care Bill
House Ways and Means Chair Tim Brown says he will not advance a bill addressing implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Brandon Smith reports:
Legislation that passed the Senate earlier this session directed the Pence administration to negotiate with the federal government for healthcare expansion using key portions of the Healthy Indiana Plan, including health-savings accounts that consumers pay into for their own healthcare. It also urged federal Medicaid dollars be given to the state in block grant form. But Ways and Means Chair Tim Brown says that bill isn’t necessary. He points to legislation passed two years ago allowing the state to negotiate for expansion using the Healthy Indiana Plan as the vehicle:
“What we want to do is make sure that in negotiations we don’t box or restrict the path of negotiation.”
But Portage Democratic Senator Karen Tallian says it’s wrong for the General Assembly to avoid weighing in on healthcare expansion this session:
“I don’t believe that it’s proper to just say, ‘Governor, go make this ten billion dollar decision on your own without any legislative input.’”
Brown says, if the federal government and the Pence administration make a deal for significant expansion, the General Assembly could pass legislation next session to approve that deal if necessary. For Indiana Public Broadcasting, I’m Brandon Smith.