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IN House GOP doesn't want health care exchange, for now

Democratic state lawmakers are proposing legislation that would expand the state’s Medicaid program and establish a state-run healthcare exchange.  While Medicaid expansion remains somewhat of an open question, GOP lawmakers say a state exchange won’t happen, at least for now.

The federal Affordable Care Act mandates the creation of healthcare exchanges. Those would be a type of marketplace for insurance companies and consumers in each state.  The exchanges can either be run by the state, the federal government, or a collaboration between the two.

Indiana University law professor David Orentlicher says there is little incentive for states to take part, because if there are issues with the exchanges early on, state lawmakers don’t want to shoulder the blame.

“So if you’re an elected official and the federal government’s there to take the heat…so I think that’s what’s driving a fair number of states to let the federal government do it.”

House Ways and Means chair Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville) says holding off on running an exchange is a settled question, for now.

“I think as we continue to look at how other states are doing it, we could always reevaluate.  Hopefully we can learn from other states.”

Governor Mike Pence has said since his campaign he wants the state to take no part in running an exchange.

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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