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State lawmakers consider Medicaid expansion options

INDIANAPOLIS – A pair of legislative committees is considering whether the state should expand its Medicaid coverage under the federal health care law.

The House and Senate health committees are meeting today to consider the expansion.

Legislative Republicans have expressed hesitation with a large federal expansion. Instead they say the state should be allowed to expand its health savings account plan to more residents.

Outnumbered Democrats in the House and Senate want the state to take up the full expansion.

At the heart of the debate is how much an expansion would cost. The state’s actuary has estimated a full expansion alone would cost roughly $2 billion over seven years. The Indiana Hospital Association released a study Monday placing that cost at about $500 million.