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IN Senate approves bill negotiating Affordable Care Act

State lawmakers say debate and discussion about how to implement federal health care reform in Indiana can continue within legislation approved by the Senate.  However, the bill does not automatically implement an expansion of Medicaid.

An overwhelming majority of senators approved the measure, which directs the state to continue negotiating with the federal government in an effort to receive federal Medicaid dollars in block grant form.  That would give the state greater flexibility as it implements the Affordable Care Act. 

While the bill does not specifically mention the Healthy Indiana Plan, the state’s health insurance program for low-income Hoosiers, it does include many of the key components of HIP, including health-savings accounts that consumers pay into for their own healthcare.

Senator Pat Miller (R-Indianapolis), who authored the legislation, says work on the bill is far from over.

“I do appreciate the attitude that everyone has had as we’ve talked about and negotiated this and I’m sure the bill will continue to be amended as it moves through the process.”

Several Senate Democrats opposed to the provisions of the bill voted for it to keep the issue alive.  The measure now moves to the House.  Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) indicated the discussion on Affordable Care Act implementation will involve the House, Senate and Governor Mike Pence.

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