Indiana Democrats trying to jumpstart conversation on health care

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A coalition of Democratic senators and representatives gathered at the Indiana Statehouse Wednesday morning to “jumpstart the conversation” on health care exchanges and Medicaid expansion.

The exchanges and expansion are among the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed in March 2010. The six legislators said the federal law offers an opportunity to extend health care to all Hoosiers, yet they are dismayed there have been no discussions in the Legislature and no public dialogue on the implementation of the exchanges or the expansion.

Assistant Senate Democratic Leader Jean Breaux (R-Indianapolis) called the silence deafening.

Breaux and Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Ogden Dunes, used the press conference to announce their proposal, Senate Bill 540, which provides for the implementation of the federal ACA.

The bill has two parts. The first part addresses the insurance exchanges and calls for the establishment of a committee to study and make recommendations to the legislative council concerning the implementation of an exchange. The second part calls for changes in the Medicaid eligibility requirements to allow for the program’s expansion.

The coalition emphasized the $20 billion the state is expected to receive over the next seven years in federal health care spending which would not only provide health insurance for Hoosiers but also create 47,000 jobs.

The lawmakers also highlighted areas they believe costs will be cut if Medicaid is expanded. Tallian, in particular, pointed to the Department of Correction which currently spends $100 million annually on medical care for inmates. With the expansion, these inmates would be covered by insurance.

“These are just the direct benefits,” she said. “They say nothing about the value of making sure everyone has health insurance.”  

Under the ACA, states have the option of setting up their own health care exchanges or having the federal government establish and run the exchange in the state. Gov. Mike Pence has said he does not believe Indiana should create an exchange because it could cost the state millions of taxpayer dollars.

Originally, states had until Jan. 1, 2013, to decide if they would run their own exchanges or let the federal government do it. However, the Obama administration has indicated it will give states more time to make a decision.

The Supreme Court of the United States ruling which upheld most of the ACA noted states do not have to expand Medicaid.

Pence has also raised concerns about the cost to Hoosiers if Medicaid is expanded. However, because the increasing Medicaid coverage is predicted to reduce the number of non-paying patients, Indiana hospitals and medical practices are expected to pressure the Legislature to expand the program.  



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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.