An Alternative Way to Expand Medicaid?


Yesterday, Indiana Governor Mike Pence announced his alternative plan to Medicaid expansion.  A Harvard Medical School and City University of New York study released this month concluded that over 750 people in Indiana will die annually because they don't have access to Medicaid. This number is unacceptable to the 350,000 people in Indiana that would benefit from the expansion. Due to the non expansion, religious groups, healthcare providers, labor and business organizations were able to come up with 10,000 signatures, a sign that partisan politics shouldn't coincide with someone's healthcare.  Gov. Pence has decided to use the federal government funding expand coverage to the most vulnerable in his state; however, unlike traditional Medicaid, those who will be using the program will have to "put more skin in the game" as Gov. Pence sees it.

Congressman Andre Carson was quoted in Professor Fran Quigley's article in the Indianapolis Star stating that “I have serious concerns that (the revised Healthy Indiana Plan) is an untested proposal that will still fail to provide critical health coverage to thousands of Hoosiers.” The proposal still needs approval from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

In a state like Massachusetts, who expanded benefits back in 2006, deaths from conditions that were curable were cut significantly.  This might be the proponents best chance to extend coverage to those in need. Only time will tell if Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0 will work.