Indiana Reaches Deal With HHS To Expand Medicaid Under O-Care

Gov. Mike Pence talks with the media at the Indiana Republican Party elections results viewing party in Indianapolis Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
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Indiana will become the latest Republican-led state to expand Medicaid under Obamacare, Gov. Mike Pence (R) announced Tuesday.

Pence outlined the alternative expansion plan that he and the Obama administration had agreed upon, which builds on an existing state program.

“I believe that Medicaid is not a program we should expand, but one we should reform. That’s exactly what we are doing,” Pence said, although the proposal is still using Medicaid expansion dollars to extend coverage, and is only possible through a federal Medicaid waiver.

Using the Healthy Indiana program, which sets up health savings accounts, Indiana will require enrollees above the poverty level to make monthly contributions. If they fail to do so, they could lose some benefits. Those below the poverty line have the option to make additional payments to receive better coverage, but it is not required.

Contributions under the program will not exceed 2 percent of an enrollee’s annual income. Pence’s plan also includes a work-referral component, though there is no requirement for enrollees to participate.

About 350,000 low-income Indianans are expected to be covered by the Medicaid expansion.

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  1. This reeks.

    First Pence “balances” the state’s books off replacing a huge chunk of the state’s share of constitutional obligations to provide a range of medical care to the poor, with creating then extending the notion of a ‘individual health care accounts’ down low enough to completely cover everyone anywhere close to the poverty line, and NOW he’s made nice nice with Obamacare?

    There’s something rotten at work here.

    Now, it could just be that Indiana has entered into a long-term agreement to phase out its health care accounts system for folks below a certain threshold - but WHOA Pence has got to know that IF he stays on for any significant period of time in state politics he’s facing a whirlwind of backlash from resentful middle-class types stuck in the worst of both worlds (no federal Medicare extensions, no state-run exchanges and adoption of the Moops position in King v Burwell).

    Is Pence THAT stupid that he figures folks won’t catch on to this until he’s ‘elected president’? Oh yeah - he’s that stupid.

  2. I agree this deal, like all the other Republican-inspired Medicaid expansion “hybrid” plans, involves a huge grift for the private insurance lobby, but apparently the President is more concerned about extending coverage to the working poor. He’s already approved a number of these types of plans.

    Hopefully, if/when cooler heads someday prevail, these carve-outs for insurers and concessions to War on the Poor ideologues will give way to what was initially intended – a straight up government-administered program not intended as a slush fund for well-placed special interests.

  3. While I am glad the 350,000 odd working class citizens of Indiana will be eligible for some kind of coverage, I believe HHS and the Administration need to STOP making these deals. Medicaid/Medicare expansion, just like everyone else or no deal and you go back to your bottom 20% and explain the deal. As a side note, how “ironclad” are these deals? If the next President (not selected from a clown car) and the new head of HHS wanted to rescind the deal and for traditional M/M expansion could he/she?

  4. UGH! On the one hand, I’m glad that some low income people are getting access to healthcare. On the other, the idea that they have to chip in to monthly payments and get “health savings accounts” is pure BS. I realize that it’s better than nothing at all. But - at what price??

  5. [quote] Using the Healthy Indiana program, which sets up health savings
    accounts, Indiana will require enrollees above the poverty level to make
    monthly contributions. [/quote[ Sounds like a forced tax increase to me.

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