INDIANAPOLIS – Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) released the following statement regarding Governor Mike Pence’s announcement accepting federal support to expand health care to more Hoosiers.

“Today is a victory for working Hoosiers.

“For two years, the governor and his allies left 500,000 Hoosiers who earned too much for traditional Medicaid and too little to qualify for subsidies in a coverage gap with nowhere to turn.

“Their feet-dragging saw Indiana lose out on as much as $2 billion in federal support to date, strained rural hospitals and delayed the creation of as many as 30,000 jobs.

“We can put that behind us now, because today the governor embraced the Affordable Care Act’s core principle of expanding health care coverage to more Hoosiers.

“By any name, this is the right thing to do.

“This will help drive down health insurance premiums paid by insured Hoosiers and eliminate the ‘emergency room as primary care’ approach.

“It’s the right thing to do because no one should face bankruptcy as a result of unanticipated medical expenses.

“It’s the right thing to do because we’ve been the island of the uninsured for too long, shipping our tax dollars to cover the uninsured in other states.

“I’m grateful to Governor Pence for his leadership. He’s shown great courage to buck conventional politics and work with President Obama and his administration.

“Rolling out health care expansion can’t end with the governor’s press conference. The hard work begins now.

“To truly be successful, the governor must lower the barriers to access, reach out to Hoosiers without coverage and do what it takes to extend health insurance to people who’ve been waiting for years.”