Pence unveils new health care plan

(WISH Photo/Ron Nakasone)
(WISH Photo/Ron Nakasone)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana Gov. Mike Pence unveiled a new proposal Thursday to make health insurance available to as many as half a million people in Indiana who currently have no insurance.

It’s a plan that requires approval from the federal government and that could take months.

Nevertheless, the governor has taken a big step to make use of the billions of dollars in Obamacare money that he previously turned away.

Pence calls his plan HIP 2.0. He unveiled it in front of a packed auditorium at IU Health Methodist Hospital. It’s an expanded version of the Healthy Indiana Plan established by Gov. Mitch Daniels and requires health savings accounts or co-payments from people who sign up for the plan, unlike traditional Medicaid. The governor calls it an alternative to Medicaid and Medicaid reform.

“HIP 2.0 will be funded by a combination of federal funds and an agreement with Indiana’s hospitals who have partnered with us to improve access to health care coverage in Indiana,” said Gov. Pence. “This means no new state spending and no tax increases will be required to fund HIP 2.0.”

“I think it’s a workable plan,” said Rep. Ed DeLaney, who criticized the governor’s previous decision to forgo a Medicaid expansion. “It has some very interesting components and I’m glad we’re doing this.”

The governor is making similar announcements in Fort Wayne and Jeffersonville.

Public hearings on HIP 2.0 begin next week.

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