INDIANAPOLIS – At a press conference on Thursday, Senate Democrat Leader Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) and members of the Senate Democrat Caucus urged careful consideration and caution regarding the negative impact of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) on the state of Indiana and Hoosiers. The AHCA is scheduled for a full vote by the U.S. House of Representatives later today.
“Today marks the seven year anniversary of President Obama signing the Affordable Care Act into law; a measure that allowed the State of Indiana to make great strides at ensuring over 400,000 Hoosiers gain health coverage through HIP 2.0,” Sen. Lanane said. “Today marks the beginning of what could be a disaster for public health in Indiana.”
The Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) 2.0 covers over 400,000 Hoosiers throughfunding from the federal government since the state opted to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Since the inception of HIP 2.0 in 2013, the state of Indiana observed a 30-percent decrease in the uninsured rate.
“HIP 2.0 is a critical piece of public health policy for the state, and it is being put at risk under the Republican healthcare plan due to a ‘trigger’ in our state law,” Sen. Lanane said. “We are here today to urge our Republican colleagues in the Statehouse to remove this trigger, and work to safeguard Hoosiers’ health care coverage should the AHCA become law.”
HIP 2.0 health coverage is put at risk due to Indiana law automatically triggering a repeal of HIP 2.0 should federal funding be reduced. Without the enhancedfederal matching funds for HIP 2.0, Indiana would have to allocate an extra $500 million per year in state funding to maintain the current program. Additionally, Sen. Lanane noted in the midst of the opioid crisis facing Indiana, the Republican healthcare plan would remove mental health and substance abuse treatment from the list of essential benefits, putting Hoosiers at risk of losing these services.
Sen. Lanane also said the Republican healthcare plan would cause premiums to rise on our most vulnerable Hoosiers, while providing a $600 billion tax cut for insurance companies and the top one percent of earners. According to the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of the Republican plan, out-of-pocket premiums for a 64-year-old individual making $26,500 per year would rise from $1,700 to $14,600 per year, essentially over half their income.
“The Republican healthcare plan would cause premiums to rise dramatically for low-income and middle- class Hoosiers on the individual exchanges, especially seniors,” Sen. Lanane said. “That is unacceptable and we need to be taking a proactive approach to protect the Hoosiers that will be affected the most: children, seniors and our Medicaid expansion population.”
Senate Democrats are drafting an amendment to the state budget that would repeal the automatic trigger or elimination of HIP 2.0 should federal funding be decreased.
“This is a budget year and we have heard no proposals or solutions from the Republican supermajority on how to address this looming crisis for Indiana created by Republicans in Washington D.C.,” Sen. Lanane said. “We have to begin to carefully consider the fiscal and public health impacts of this federal healthcare proposal, and we cannot simply begin the conversation by saying we will cut healthcare benefits for working Hoosiers.”
Sen. Lanane also urged Governor Eric Holcomb – despite the governor’s support of the Republican healthcare plan – to direct the Family and Social Services Agency (FSSA) to conduct field hearings, health finance committees, and symposiums over the interim to study and prepare for the potential impacts of the AHCA.
Sen. Lanane represents Indiana Senate District 25 which includes portions of Madison and Delaware counties, including the City of Muncie and the southeastern portion of the City of Anderson. For more information on Sen. Lanane, his legislative agenda or other State Senate business call 1-800-382-9467 or visit www.IN.gov/S25 .
INFOGRAPHIC PDF: An infographic of the impact of the Republican healthcare plan on Hoosiers can be found here: http://indianasenatedemocrats.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/AHCA_IN.pdf
NOTE: A photo of Sen. Tim Lanane can be downloaded at: http://indianasenatedemocrats.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Senator-Lanane.jpg