The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, July 19, 2017 1:30 pm

Health care plan would have cost Indiana nearly $5 billion

NIKI KELLY | The Journal Gazette

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana would have lost $4.9 billion in funding for the poor, disabled and elderly on Medicaid under the failed Senate healthcare bill.

That is a 14 percent drop from what the state would have received under current law through 2026.

The estimates come from a governors-only discussion on the future of health care that was presented last week at the National Governors Association and obtained by The Journal Gazette.

The federal funding reductions would have grown even more severe under the Senate plan by 2036 -- with Indiana's loss at 32 percent, or $36.5 billion.

The Senate version of the bill has essentially collapsed in recent days as Republicans try to find enough votes to move it.

One of the key points of opposition has been from governors concerned about the hit to state coffers for Medicaid -- a joint program that covers 72 million people nationwide.

The reductions in funding involve lowering aid for Medicaid expansion under Obamacare. It also would shift Medicaid from an open-ended entitlement dependent on those who qualify and their health needs to a fixed funding structure giving states dollars based on per capita caps and block grants.

Gov. Eric Holcomb has refused to provide any state-specific estimates on the bill, saying last week "when there is a vote that we know is going to occur we will weigh in. But this literally changes to the tune of billions of billions of dollars every hour. and for me to start chasing some target that continues to elude us is just not productive."

The PowerPoint from the meeting gives a number of options for states to offset the lost federal dollars.

They include:

  • Raise taxes.
  • Reduce spending elsewhere in the state budget.
  • Tighten eligibility through reduced income thresholds.
  • Eliminate coverage for some optional services.
  • Cap benefits.
  • Implement job search or work requirements.
  • Require participants to cover some costs.
  • Cut provider reimbursement rates.

For more information, see Thursday's print edition of The Journal Gazette or visit after 1 a.m. Thursday.

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