NEW ALBANY —
Medicaid resolution approved
The council approved the only item on its agenda up for a vote on Monday.
Councilman John Gonder sponsored a resolution asking for the state to accept federal funding tied to the Affordable Care Act that would expand Medicaid coverage in Indiana.
Gov. Mike Pence asked and received a one-year extension to continue the state’s Healthy Indiana plan instead of implementing the Medicaid expansion.
But that leaves many Indiana residents without coverage, and Gonder, a Democrat, said it only serves as an attack against President Barack Obama for pushing for health care reform.
The resolution passed 7-2, with Republican Councilman Kevin Zurschmiede and independent Scott Blair voting against the measure.
Both said the council doesn’t have enough information to tell the state what to accept. Blair added the council shouldn’t really vote on non-binding resolutions that don’t relate to matters it holds authority over.
But Councilman Greg Phipps pointed out the council listened to the concerns of residents about Mt. Tabor Road at the beckoning of Blair though the council doesn’t control that project.
Phipps said he supports the residents who are worried about the Mt. Tabor Road project, but added other people also have problems and that the council sometimes has to use its “bully pulpit” to express its feelings about such matters.
Opponents of the expansion said that while federal funding will be available for the first wave of new clients, the state will end up paying a lot of money for Medicaid patients.
Gonder said the state is “closing the door to the working poor” by not accepting the federal funding.