Updated January 13, 4:12pm
Congress took steps this week toward repealing the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, by passing a budget resolution that allows Republicans to get rid of the law without the threat of filibuster. This could affect millions of Americans who gained coverage through Medicaid expansion, including about 250,000 Hoosiers.
In nearby states that expanded their Medicaid programs, Republican leaders have expressed reservations about Obamacare repeal, but Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb has yet to weigh in.
Republican Governors John Kasich of Ohio and Rick Snyder of Michigan have both raised concerns about repealing the law without a replacement. They cite the thousands of people that are covered under Medicaid expansion, and its importance to hospitals.
Under former Governor Mike Pence, Indiana also expanded Medicaid, with the Healthy Indiana Plan, or HIP 2.0. About 250,000 more Hoosiers gained insurance because of the program.
Susan Jo Thomas, director of the insurance advocacy group Covering Kids and Families, doesn’t want HIP 2.0 to go away.
“We’re very worried about that happening,” she says, adding that HIP 2.0 helped bring Indiana’s uninsured rate into the single digits. “The program has been a godsend in helping Hoosiers get the care they need at the right place at the right time,” she says. “If we’re not able to offer that program, the effects of that could be devastating on Hoosiers’ health.”
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb has not taken a stance, even as repeal efforts move forward in Washington. Asked for comment, a spokesperson for Holcomb said in an email only that the issue was on his radar.