Indiana's Medicaid expansion will likely continue despite Gov. Mike Pence withdrawing from the state's gubernatorial race to join Donald Trump as his running mate.
Pence's conservative version of the expansion took effect last year. His Healthy Indiana 2.0 plan—which includes premium contributions, health savings accounts, incentives for healthy behaviors, and a benefit lockout for people who don't pay premiums—has become a model for conservative Republican governors in other states, including Kentucky and Ohio.
An hour after Pence dropped out of the race this month, Eric Holcomb, the state's lieutenant governor, and Republican U.S. Reps. Susan Brooks and Todd Rokita made moves to position themselves to become the GOP gubernatorial candidate. Local media pegs Holcomb as facing Democratic nominee John Gregg in November. Gregg, a former state representative, won his party's state primary this year.
Holcomb hasn't commented on HIP 2.0, but as Pence's second in command, he likely supports the program, said David Craig, an ethics professor at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
Both Brooks and Rokita issued statements of support after Pence received approval from HHS for HIP 2.0. Brooks has sided with Pence in a fight against the CMS. The agency wants to conduct an independent evaluation of how the Indiana waiver model has affected beneficiaries' access to care.
If Gregg wins, he might follow a fellow Democrat, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, by junking his predecessor's conservative Medicaid expansion and replacing it with a straightforward approach, said David Orentlicher, a health law professor at Indiana University.