Chesterton Tribune


Affordable Care Act could mean billions in funding to Indiana, Sen. Tallian says

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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 Senate.

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 care field.

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?”





Posted 2/1/2013