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White House cancels health care vote; Michiana politicians discuss bill

The White House canceled the much-anticipated vote on the American Health Care Act Thursday. Amidst the uncertainty, Michiana politicians are weighing in on the bill.

“Well, it’s pretty clear that the leadership just doesn’t have the votes to pass it forward,” said Republican Congressman from Indiana, Jim Banks.

The Republican governors of Indiana and Michigan initially expressed concerns about the bill de-funding Medicaid, but in statements released to ABC 57 News Thursday, they showed more support for the President’s alternative.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s office sent us the following statement:

"Gov. Snyder appreciates the willingness of President Trump and members of Congress to take input from governors while crafting the current health care proposal to repeal and replace Obamacare.  He remains engaged in a constructive dialogue with those in D.C. about how the proposal will impact Michigan."

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb’s office says he’s going to take his support a step further:

"Governor Holcomb will send a letter to Congressional leaders to urge passage of the American Health Care Act. This is a critical first step to reach meaningful reform for our nation’s healthcare system and replace an overly burdensome unsustainable entitlement. With important changes made to the bill this week, states will have the time and flexibility to implement innovative consumer-driven models, much like HIP 2.0 in Indiana."

HIP 2.0, the Healthy Indiana Plan, which was enacted in 2015, provides health insurance for roughly 400,000 Hoosiers via Medicaid funding.

With the ‘important changes’ to the American Health Care Act Governor Holcomb mentioned, Congressman Jim Banks says HIP shouldn’t really be affected.

“We would grant states, all of the states more flexibility and provide a true state block grant program, that would get the federal government out of the way and empower the states to administer these programs. That’s one of the positive aspects of the bill. –It would be good for states and programs like HIP 2.0, ultimately,” said Congressman Banks.

Hoosier Desiree Richard, who is covered under HIP, says, if that’s the case, she could get behind the bill.

“If they could do something like they do have the HIP program, if they do have programs for people like me in situations where medications and doctor’s appointments are needed, yes, if they could do something for that,” said Richard.

“I see no reason why there would be any setbacks for current enrollees in HIP 2.0 under the American Health Care Act. In fact, I think the flexibility it will provide will allow states like Indiana, sometimes, to do more with less money,” said Congressman Banks.

Congressman Banks says they haven’t been told yet if and when the vote will be rescheduled.

Check back in with ABC 57 for updates on this ongoing debate.

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