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Vast majority of Indiana counties agree to take new health funding, provide more services

The southwestern exterior of the Indiana Statehouse.
Brandon Smith
IPB News
Eighty-six of Indiana's 92 counties opted in to receive new public health funding from the state. Receiving the money means those counties agree to provide about two dozen core health services, defined by new state law.

All but six of Indiana’s 92 counties opted to take new funding from the state under this year’s public health system overhaul legislation.

That means nearly 96 percent of Hoosiers will have access to core public health services provided by those counties.

The new state budget delivered $75 million this fiscal year and $150 million next year in new, public health funding for counties — up from just $6.9 million a year the last couple of decades.

To get the money, counties had to agree to provide about two dozen core services — including food and sanitary inspections, child and maternal health services, and preventative care for diabetes and obesity.

READ MORE: How the public health system overhaul came to be – and what's still left to do

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But it was entirely voluntary — county elected officials had to decide whether to take the money and provide the services. And many believed that as much as a third of the state or more would refuse to take the money, at least initially.

But by the September 1 deadline, 86 of 92 counties opted in for the first year of funding — which also means that $75 million will be stretched a little thinner.

A list of the counties and how much money each will receive can be found at the state's Health First Indiana website.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.