The Affordable Care Act is “here to stay” and it is time for the state to do
something about it, said State Senator Karen Tallian, D-Ogden Dunes, at the
Porter County Retired Teachers Legislative Forum earlier this week.
Tallian is one of the Democratic lawmakers in the statehouse pushing for
expansion and a state exchange of health care coverage after the U.S.
Supreme Court voted in June 2012 to uphold the ACA act.
Tallian told those sitting in on the forum at Bailly Elementary on Saturday
that there are still some major issues for Medicare expansion including
opposition from the Republicans who dominate both the Indiana House and
She refuted speculation that coverage would be for “people sitting home
doing nothing.” Instead, the coverage will be available for low-income wage
earners currently working but who do not have insurance through Medicare or
their employer, she said.
The Democratic caucus has said ACA, which takes effect in 2014, could expand
coverage availability to 400,000 residents and spur more jobs in the health
Also, Tallian said the ACA could mean somewhere between $12 billion and $17
billion for the state over a span of seven years from the Feds who will
cover most of the costs.
“We just cannot turn that down,” Tallian said.
Tallian has filed Senate Bill 540 which calls for the establishment of study
committee to develop recommendations for the legislative council on how to
implement a health benefit exchange system in Indiana in the 2014 General
Assembly. The Department of Insurance would also report each year on the
status of health benefit exchanges.
On Thursday, Tallian said legislative services has come up with a physical
impact statement and will report the results later next week.
But a few of Tallian’s Republican colleagues have said there needs to be
more discussion on whether a state-run exchange would work best for Hoosier
residents and businesses.
State Rep. Chuck Moseley, D-Portage, said he is in favor of coverage
expansion believing that Hoosiers receiving better health care will cut down
on medical costs for everybody.
“One way or another we all pay,” Moseley said. “Why not expand Medicare to
achieve our goals?”