WAVE 3 Editorial - September 3, 2013: Indiana Health Care Exchan - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

WAVE 3 Editorial - September 3, 2013: Indiana Health Care Exchange

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By Ken Selvaggi
WAVE 3 Vice President and General Manager

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Expanding Medicaid is tough politics, but easy math.

Kentucky figured that out and may save more than $800 million over the next eight years by opting into Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Health Care Act. Kentucky is well ahead of many states in establishing a health care exchange, and starting October 1, about 300,000 people in the Commonwealth will benefit because of it.

Conversely, Indiana will forgo millions by opting not to start its own state-run health exchange. This will deny more than 400,000 Hoosiers with no access to health care, eligibility for Medicaid. Indiana residents will be able to buy their own health insurance though a federal health exchange.

The governors of Texas, Ohio, Michigan, New Jersey, Florida and Arizona were once hard core critics of expanding Medicaid but all have reversed their stance – and we urge Indiana's governor to do so as well.

It is still about a 50-50 split in states opting into their own health care exchange as serious concerns abound about future financial obligations.

But the reality is the present financial obligations for many in Indiana would be improved, as would their health, if Indiana opts in. Some rural hospitals in the state would also benefit.  Hospitals will be subject to Medicaid reimbursement cuts without getting any of the potential financial benefits to offset them.

Ultimately, it is the tax dollars folks in Indiana pay that will be spent on other states that do opt into the program. It is certainly heavy handed by Washington, but it is reality. That money should be spent in Indiana as well.

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