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IN Democrats unveil health care proposal

Democratic lawmakers say it’s time for Indiana to begin a serious discussion about healthcare, including potential expansion of Medicaid.  They have proposed legislation dealing with implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

The proposed bill authored by Senator Karen Tallian (D-Portage) would create a state-run healthcare exchange – a kind of marketplace for insurance companies and customers. It also would expand the state’s Medicaid program to add as many as 400,000 Hoosiers.

Tallian says the Medicaid expansion would not only ensure more Hoosiers have insurance, but also bring investment and jobs to the state’s healthcare industry.

“It’s not only fiscally sound to do this but I believe it’s fiscally irresponsible to not do it.”

Governor Mike Pence says he won’t rule out expanding Medicaid if the legislature approves it.

“But for me to accept any Medicaid expansion, it would have to be fiscally responsible and it would have to bring with it the ability to continue to provide the kind of innovation in healthcare that Indiana’s been able to advance.”

Pence says expanding Medicaid is a conversation he’ll leave up to the General Assembly. 

Representative Ed DeLaney (D-Indianapolis) says failing to implement the Medicaid expansion will create inequalities with other states.

“I’m paying taxes to fund this program on a national basis.  So, I’m going to pay for the guy in Illinois, the guy in Michigan to have this healthcare, but I’m not going to give it to my fellow Hoosiers?”

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.
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