Governor Mike Pence says there are scenarios in which Indiana might not move ahead with healthcare expansion as the state and federal government discuss the proposed plan known as HIP 2.0. Pence says “differences remain” after his meeting with Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell.
Pence has long ruled out using federal dollars from the Affordable Care Act to expand traditional Medicaid. Instead, he’s pushed use of the Healthy Indiana Plan as a vehicle to deliver affordable health insurance to around 300,000 Hoosiers within the coverage gap.
Pence met with new HHS Secretary Burwell in Washington last week. He says the two sides have committed to keep talking as 2015 approaches without a plan in place.
“For me, it’s more important to get it right than get it done at any particular time," says Pence.
Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane says Hoosiers should be concerned another year will come without healthcare expansion. And he says Pence should have known there would be issues on which the federal government wouldn’t give in.
“Whether it was the issue of co-pays, premium payments," says Lanane, "the health savings accounts and have some willingness to move off of those issues in terms of the amounts that have to paid by the consumer or what have you.”
Pence says he made it clear the state would likely reconsider moving forward with expansion if the federal government tries to water down the essential consumer-driven portions of HIP 2.0, including requiring some people in the program to contribute to health savings accounts.