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Healthy Indiana Plan Expansion

Governor Pence has unveiled a plan to junk Medicaid in Indiana, and replace it with an expanded Healthy Indiana Plan.

The proposal fills in the blanks on Pence‘s long-stated insistence that any expansion of Medicaid under the federal health care law must operate through the Healthy Indiana Plan.

The proposal broadens eligibility for HIP from the poverty line to 38-percent above it -- for a family of four, that‘s an income threshold of about 33-thousand dollars a year.

Pence says he remains opposed to expanding Medicaid itself, which he charges has morphed from a well-intended program into a "bureaucratic monstrosity."

In contrast, he says the incentive of being able to keep unspent funds from HIP’s health savings accounts has cut health costs among HIP participants by 25-percent.

 The state has reached an agreement with Indiana hospitals to chip in 50-million dollars toward the expanded coverage.

Pence says that money plus federal dollars would allow the state to cover more people without an increase in state spending.

Legislative Democrats, who had criticized Pence for resisting the Medicaid expansion, applaud the proposal.

But Seventh District Congressman Andre Carson says the plan still leaves too many people without coverage.