February 1, 2024

Medicaid policy bill misses deadline. Democrats say House avoided discussion about amendments

Article origination IPB News
House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) said it was a complicated bill and lawmakers have to be careful in situations where there’s a significant fiscal impact. - Lauren Chapman/IPB News

House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) said it was a complicated bill and lawmakers have to be careful in situations where there’s a significant fiscal impact.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

A bill that would update Medicaid policy was not called down for a second reading Thursday ahead of the House second reading deadline.

House Democrats said the decision might have been made to avoid discussion on proposed amendments. House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) said the author didn’t feel like it was the right time to call the bill down.

House Democratic Leader Phil GiaQuinta (D-Fort Wayne) said it’s clear someone “didn’t want to have a discussion on the amendments that were put forward.”

“I do think the public has a right to know, where the dollars are going, where they're being spent, all those sorts of things,” GiaQuinta said. “So we're trying to bring some transparency to that today.”

GiaQuinta said HB 1386 is an “agency bill,” which typically move forward quickly and without issue.

House Democrats filed amendments that would pause the proposed cuts to attendant care, stop money from being reverted out of the Medicaid fund and require a report on the reasons behind the $1 billion shortfall. The amendment related to the Medicaid fund was also filed while the bill was in the House Public Health Committee, but it was not considered by the chair.
 

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On Monday, lawmakers from both parties called for the Family and Social Services Administration to pause the program cuts.

Huston said it was a complicated bill and lawmakers have to be careful in situations where there’s a significant fiscal impact.

“Our members are having conversations with FSSA,” Huston said. “You have to be, you know, conscientious of what you do and don't put in a statute and what the consequences of what you do and don't put in the statute.”

The bill will not move forward from the House. Huston said he expects lawmakers will continue to debate the topic.
 


Abigail is our health reporter. Contact them at aruhman@wboi.org.

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