Pence to Meet With President on Health Care

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WOWO) – Governor Pence says his proposed expansion of the Healthy Indiana insurance plan is running into roadblocks with the federal government, and says he‘ll ask President Obama directly to intervene.

The HIP expansion would widen Medicaid eligibility in Indiana, but doing so outside the traditional Medicaid structure requires federal approval. Pence says the Department of Health and Human Services is balking at the health savings accounts at the heart of the program. In a letter to Obama, Pence says he won‘t accept any attempt to “remove or water down HIP‘s core principles.”

The governor is repeating his previously-stated declaration that he‘ll expand Medicaid only if he can do so through HIP.

Pence is greeting Air Force One in Evansville on Friday when Obama arrives for a factory visit in Princeton. He‘s asked the White House for a few minutes to discuss HIP. The governor will also travel to Washington Monday to make his case to HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell.

Pence notes the government has approved HIP‘s basic framework twice before. The state‘s authorization to operate the program expires at the end of the year.