INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The public comment period for the governor’s proposal to expand the Healthy Indiana Plan ends this week. It will then go to federal government for approval.
The formal application will be made in a week or two. How long it will take the federal government to respond is anyone’s guess.
Mike Pence’s plan to use medicaid money to create what he calls HIP 2.0 was developed in consultation with former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. She has since been replaced by Sylvia Burwell.
Pence spoke with Burwell on the phone for the first time last week and says it was a lengthy and substantive discussion, but he got no assurances about a green light from the federal government.
“There’s no agreement at this point with federal officials that we’ll be able to go forward with our proposal to really build on what has been an extraordinary success in the Healthy Indiana Plan,” he said in a one-on-one interview with 24 Hour News 8′s Jim Shella, “but we’re hopeful.”
He went on the say that, “The advantage we have, Jim, is that Healthy Indiana is not a theory, it’s a program.”
Meantime, Pence is brushing off criticism from conservative groups who don’t like the fact that he is willing to accept Obamacare money.
The Pence Administration will also ask the federal government to continue the current version of the Healthy Indiana Plan just in case the expansion is rejected.