Ind. lawmakers weigh options for implementing federal health care changes
Medicaid expansion could cost $2B to $6B
Last Updated: 272 days ago
The state is bracing for a multi-billion dollar bill as it considers plans to expand health care to everyone.
On Wednesday, lawmakers got their first look at the options on the table, and new numbers show federal plans to expand health care will be expensive.
The Affordable Health Care Act upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court will force Hoosier lawmakers to make decisions about the future of taxpayer-supported Medicaid.
The state is looking at four options that detail different expenses depending on the number of people added to the program.
"Even though there is a lot of discussion that the federal government will be paying 100 percent of the cost for a few years, the state is still on the hook for all administrative costs and growth of existing Medicaid," said Seema Verma, health care act state consultant.
Gov. Mitch Daniels will let his successor to determine the state's choice.
Current state figures show expansion of Medicaid costing $2 billion to $6 billion over seven years.
"People who are healthy and younger will pay more in 2014," Verma said.
One high-ranking Democrat is concerned the federal government is not providing state lawmakers with enough information.
"They've got to step up. They have to answer questions to be able to make intelligent decisions that affect the citizens of the state of Indiana," said Peggy Welch, D-Bloomington.
Once the state makes a decision on a course of action, there's no 30-day return policy; any requested change will take one year to take effect.
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