Democrats continue the push for affordable health care

With the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), states were given the ability to expand Medicaid services to their most vulnerable citizens with 100% of the expansion being funded by the federal government through 2016. Since 2012, Senate Democrats have made this health care expansion a legislative priority by offering a number of proposals that would for the first time offer affordable health care options to 400,000 Hoosiers, create 30,000 high-paying jobs, and bring billions of dollars of additional economic activity to the state of Indiana.

After a year of negotiations to establish Indiana’s mechanism for expanding Medicaid under the ACA, the governor recently submitted a proposal to the federal government to expand health care coverage in Indiana. Although the final details of the proposal have not been approved by the Center for Medicaid Services (CMS), Senate Democrats are encouraged by the governor embracing the president’s health care law and working with the federal government to expand health care to working Hoosiers.

However, members of the Senate Democratic Caucus have long pointed to the years of federal funding, health care coverage, job growth and economic development that have been lost due to the indecision of the governor and Statehouse Republicans.

We have compiled an easy-to-read timeline of what has taken place in Indiana government and highlighted the most significant events regarding the expansion of Medicaid in Indiana.

Medicaid Expansion Timeline

VIDEO: Breaux responds to the State of the State

Senator Jean D. Breaux responds to Governor Pence’s 2014 State of the State. Breaux covers the governor’s lack of depth and detail regarding wage gap, unemployment, healthcare, and education.

VIDEO: Sen. Breaux discusses important Marion Co. legislation at the close of 2013 session

State Senator Jean D. Breaux discusses important pieces of legislation for Marion County at the close of the 2013 General Assembly session. Topics include Marion County reorganization, mass transit expansion for Central Indiana and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

VIDEO: Sen. Breaux provides a mid-session roundup of big issues

State Senator Jean Breaux provides an update during the first week of the 2nd half of the legislative session. Sen. Breaux describes how the 2-year state budget has now come over to the Senate from the House, along with some other large issues like mass transit in central Indiana and education.

Call for public study of Marion County overhaul denied

Sen. Breaux debates an amendment to SB 621

Sen. Breaux debates an amendment to SB 621 that would create a committee to study the impact of eliminating Marion-County Council’s at-large seats. The amendment was rejected by a vote of 13-37.

On a party-line vote, members of the Indiana Senate rejected an amendment to study a major overhaul of Marion County government. The amendment to Senate Bill (SB) 621, proposed by Assistant Democratic Leader Jean D. Breaux, would have created a summer study committee to examine the impact of eliminating the City-County Council’s At-large councilor seats and reducing mayoral residency requirements, among other significant changes.

Sen. Breaux’s proposal to study the move aimed to lengthen the conversation on the issue; however, it was rejected, 13-37. Members of the Senate Democratic Caucus, particularly those representing areas within Marion County, expressed their disappointment that more public discussion was not had before passing such a substantial shift of power.

SEN. BREAUX: “I was hoping, with the amendment I offered to 621, to do as I said on the floor and that is to slow this process down…”

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SEN. LANANE: “It seems very clear to me that the elimination of the…”

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SEN. LANANE: “I was disappointed our amendment was defeated because…”

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SEN. TAYLOR: “I think the amendment would have done something we always do in the legislature. We allow the public to have public input…”

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VIDEO: Breaux reflects on bill providing financial resources for foster children

State Senator Jean Breaux (D-Indianapolis) on the expansion of a bill she authored in 2010 providing financial resources for children aging out of the foster care system and pursuing a college degree or a career.


Senate Democrats respond to State of the State address

Indiana Governor Mike Pence gave his first major gubernatorial address on Tuesday, delivering his State of the State speech to a joint session of the Indiana General Assembly. In what was expected to be a major policy announcement, the governor again remained light on specifics when it came to his legislative agenda.

Several Indiana Senate Democrats have released the following statements in response to Governor Pence’s State of the State address.

SEN. LANANE: “I thought there were some things in there I could agree with him upon, certainly in terms of his proposals with assisting veterans. Our caucus…”

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 SEN. LANANE: “He tried to make the case for his ten percent tax reduction. I’m not sure that he actually did that…”

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SEN. LANANE: “Again, I thought that his overall speech was a good speech…”

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SEN. BREAUX: “I think the election was pretty clear. I think the voters are saying all of this education reform…”

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SEN. ARNOLD: “My main concern about it was when he talks about…”

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SEN. TAYLOR: “I thought Gov. Pence left a lot of things to be desired. I really would love to see…”

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