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Healthcare "Great Issue Of Our Time", Say Lawmakers

Last updated on Friday, February 8, 2013

(STATEHOUSE) - Two Indiana lawmakers say it’s time for the General Assembly to tackle how to implement the Affordable Care Act.

House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath and Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane say healthcare is the "great issue of our time" and the "biggest jobs measure" that lawmakers can consider.

Rep. Pelath says given the size of Indiana's healthcare sector, the new law will potentially create thousands of good paying jobs in the state.

Pelath says lawmakers have yet to debate the issue. He says he'll introduce legislation next week aimed implementing the measure and making sure all Hoosiers are covered.

Pelath says lawmakers need to focus on implementation, cutting medical expenses and reducing costly visits to hospital emergency rooms in Indiana.

Sen. Lanane says he also has a plan to implement the measure. He suggests if done correctly, Indiana can insure another 400,000 Hoosiers without affecting the premiums of current policyholders.

Lanane says Ohio and Illinois are accommodating the Affordable Care Act by expanding Medicaid.

Both lawmakers say with the General Assembly nearing mid-term, it's time for lawmakers to begin debate on the issue.

Pelath says there's no initial cost in implementation. However, he says estimates put second and third year costs ranging from $54 million to $117 million.

Lanane adds there are numerous revenue streams to offset the costs. In addition, Lanane says Indiana won't feel any real costs until 2020.

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