Republican inaction on state-run Marketplace means King vs. Burwell decision comes down to ‘coin flip’ for Hoosiers

INDIANAPOLIS – On Monday, State Senator Karen Tallian (D-Portage) feared tax credits certain Hoosiers receive to help pay for health insurance could disappear pending a decision by the United States Supreme Court in a situation she says, Indiana Republicans chose to exacerbate.

“This was a 100 percent avoidable situation. Now, as a result of Republicans’ inaction, nearly 160,000 Hoosiers are a coin flip away from losing,” said Tallian. “Instead of taking proactive steps to defuse this, Republicans have been more than happy to watch our state careen toward the edge.”

Those steps include SB 417, a proposal Tallian offered during the 2015 legislative session that would have created a health insurance exchange managed by state officials and effectively bypassed the issue the King vs. Burwell case is set to determine. Republicans have been absolute in their refusal to negotiate a solution and failed to advance Tallian’s initiative, leaving no backup plan for families receiving tax credits.

“For many Hoosiers, these tax credits are the difference between affording health care for their children and being forced to go without. That’s a situation no parent should have to face,” said Tallian. “Governor Pence and his Republican allies have proven unwilling to move beyond partisan politics to find a solution and as a result, some families could see their premiums jump by 270 percent.”

If a decision by the Supreme Court invalidates tax credits provided through federally-run health insurance Marketplaces, Tallian believes Indiana lawmakers would be forced to act immediately.

“We cannot and will not abandon Hoosier families,” said Tallian. “There’s no backup plan, no contingency. Other states like Delaware and Pennsylvania have hedged to avoid calamity. If the Supreme Court rules against tax credits, the governor will be forced to call a special session for lawmakers to create a state-run exchange.”

In 2009, the Indiana Legislative Service Agency estimated a special session cost taxpayers at least $75,000 per week, a cost Tallian believes taxpayers wouldn’t have to bear again had the General Assembly considered her earlier proposal.

Sen. Tallian represents Senate District 4 which encompasses portions of northern Porter County and Michigan, Coolspring and New Durham townships in LaPorte County. For more information on Sen. Tallian, her legislative agenda or other State Senate business call 1-800-382-9467 or visit www.IN.gov/s4.

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