In­di­ana Med­i­caid ex­pan­sion likely to con­tinue post Pence

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS - —Vir­gil Dick­son

In­di­ana’s Med­i­caid ex­pan­sion will likely con­tinue de­spite Gov. Mike Pence with­draw­ing from the state’s gu­ber­na­to­rial race to join Don­ald Trump as his run­ning mate.

Pence’s con­ser­va­tive ver­sion of the ex­pan­sion took ef­fect last year. His Healthy In­di­ana 2.0 plan— which in­cludes pre­mium con­tri­bu­tions, health sav­ings ac­counts, in­cen­tives for healthy be­hav­iors, and a ben­e­fit lock­out for peo­ple who don’t pay pre­mi­ums— has be­come a model for con­ser­va­tive Repub­li­can gov­er­nors in other states, in­clud­ing Ken­tucky and Ohio.

An hour af­ter Pence dropped out of the race this month, Eric Hol­comb, the state’s lieu­tenant gov­er­nor, and Repub­li­can U.S. Reps. Su­san Brooks and Todd Rokita made moves to po­si­tion them­selves to be­come the GOP gu­ber­na­to­rial can­di­date. Lo­cal me­dia pegs Hol­comb as fac­ing Demo­cratic nom­i­nee John Gregg in Novem­ber. Gregg, a for­mer state rep­re­sen­ta­tive, won his party’s state pri­mary this year.

Hol­comb hasn’t com­mented on HIP 2.0, but as Pence’s sec­ond in com­mand, he likely sup­ports the pro­gram, said David Craig, an ethics pro­fes­sor at In­di­ana Uni­ver­sity-Pur­due Uni­ver­sity In­di­anapo­lis.

Both Brooks and Rokita is­sued state­ments of sup­port af­ter Pence re­ceived ap­proval from HHS for HIP 2.0. Brooks has sided with Pence in a fight against the CMS. The agency wants to con­duct an in­de­pen­dent eval­u­a­tion of how the In­di­ana waiver model has af­fected ben­e­fi­cia­ries’ ac­cess to care.

If Gregg wins, he might fol­low a fel­low Demo­crat, Penn­syl­va­nia Gov. Tom Wolf, by junk­ing his pre­de­ces­sor’s con­ser­va­tive Med­i­caid ex­pan­sion and re­plac­ing it with a straight­for­ward ap­proach, said David Orentlicher, a health law pro­fes­sor at In­di­ana Uni­ver­sity.

In­di­ana Gov. Mike Pence

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