Legislators Rely On Existing Law On Medicaid
After struggling to give the state guidance on how to handle a possible Medicaid expansion, legislators may fall back on a law already on the books. Network Indiana Statehouse reporter Eric Berman:
The Senate approved a bill supporting Governor Pence‘s position of making more people eligible for Medicaid only if it can be handled through the state‘s Healthy Indiana Plan. But the House has struggled to get the wording just right, twice stopping bills short of a vote. Now House Ways and Means Chairman Tim Brown has scrapped the whole effort as unnecessary — he notes legislators passed a law in 2011 authorizing the state to seek a waiver from any federal health care requirements. Brown says some legislators may have forgotten the 2011 law. And he notes legislators assumed at the time the Supreme Court would either throw out the entire federal law or leave mandates on the states intact. They didn‘t anticipate being left with a choice of whether to expand eligibility. The debate may not be over. Senate President Pro Tem David Long says he‘d still like to pass something to assure legislative oversight of the process. Democrats have argued the state should accept federal money to expand Medicaid without any strings attached.