Democratic lawmakers pushed Wednesday for Indiana to take steps toward implementing the federal health care overhaul that Republicans who control state government have so far rejected. States have the option of setting up their own insurance exchanges to allow individuals and small businesses to compare and buy private insurance policies. They also can partner with the federal government, or if they fail to act, the federal government will run one for them. Republican Gov. Mike Pence, has decided to let the federal government set up the exchange saying that the estimated $50 million cost wouldn't be worth the limited autonomy the state would gain. Democrats maintain a state-run exchange would better serve residents, and they have filed a bill to put one in place. Republicans dominate both the Indiana House and Senate so the success of a democrat bill to start a state run plan is doubtful.
Democrats also want to expand the eligibility for the state's Medicaid program by raising the income limits for a family of four to $33,000.
The current Medicaid cutoff for such families is $4,100 a year and that the change would provide health care coverage to as many as 400,000 people.
Democrats say that federal funding covering most of the cost.