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Secretary of State Connie Lawson released the official voter turnout report yesterday for the 2014 general election; Beginning in January, the City of Bloomington and Bloomington Meadows Hospital will establish a new suicide support group for teens and children in the community involving free ongoing monthly meetings for community youth affected by suicide; Researchers from Indiana University’s Center on Education and Lifelong Learning recently issued a policy brief from a comprehensive survey of current Indiana educators regarding their beliefs about teacher evaluations and their confidence in the evaluation process; Bloomington will host several national softball tournaments during the 2015 and 2016 seasons; Three IU professors have been awarded an National Institute of Health grant to study acetaminophen liver toxicity; Indiana University plans to shut down 10th Street on campus for almost four weeks over winter break.
Hoosiers may finally get to benefit from the expanded Medicaid coverage included as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as the ACA or Obamacare, that was passed into law back in March of 2010. Besides the well-known health insurance mandate, under which all residents were required to enroll in some kind of insurance program, with federal subsidies of insurance premium payments, there was another provision that got little attention: the expansion of Medicaid eligibility from people with incomes up to 100 percent of the federal poverty level to 138 percent. The federal plan offered to cover, initially, 100 percent of the cost of the expanded coverage for the first three years, and then gradually reduce its subsidy to 90 percent by 2020. State responses to the offer became subject to partisanship: states led by Democrats accepted the offer, and red states initially rejected it. Several Republican governed states have since come on board. However, Indiana is a hold-out, losing out on hundreds of million of dollars of federal transfers and up to half a million more residents covered by expanded Medicaid. In the meantime, the federal government has allowed Indiana to continue with the pre-ACA state delivered medicaid program under the Healthy Indiana Plan, which was established in 2008, and currently provides coverage to around 50,000 residents. Last year, Governor Pence’s office proposed a revised plan, dubbed HIP Two Point Oh, to deliver expanded Medicaid. However, negotiations with federal authorities bogged down over some of the state program provisions, which included premiums, co-pays, and yearly maximums for recipients, which have never been a part of Medicaid. In the meantime, the state has asked for and been given waivers from the federal government to allow it to continue with the old HIP program. The most recent extension agreement, announced in mid-November, would carry the program into 2015. The joint announcements from the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the CMS, and Governor Pence’s office, on the extension, also mentioned that negotiations on Medicaid expansion are continuing. On Tuesday Daily Local News correspondent David Murphy spoke to Alex Slobosky, Chairperson of Cover Indiana, which has been campaigning for state acceptance of expanded Medicaid. He informed us that he had just come from a conference in Indianapolis, where representatives of the federal and state governments talked about the current state of healthcare insurance, including the impact of the ACA on Indiana, the recent agreement to extend the state HIP for another year, and ongoing negotiations on the expansion of Medicaid in Indiana. Mister Slobosky first talked about the extension of the old HIP program.
The Holidays are a big time for both stores and scammers. Here’s a headsup on three of the con games that are going around right now.
Anchors: Kelly Wherley, Cathi Norton
Today’s headlines were written by Susan Northleaf, Anson Shupe, Cathi Norton, Sarah Panfil and Emily Beck along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, in partnership with Community Access Television services.
Bloomington Beware was produced by Richard Fish, with correspondent Anson Shupe
Our feature was produced by David Murphy
Our engineers today are Adam Reichle and Matthew Gwaltney
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes
Managing Producer is Joe Crafword