When the Obama Administration rolled out the Affordable Care Act, part of the program was for states to expand Medicaid coverage for those who made up to 138 percent of the poverty level. In exchange for states doing this, the federal government would pick up the vast majority of the state’s additional Medicaid costs.
Many states did expand Medicaid, yet several did not and have not. One state that did expand Medicaid coverage was Indiana. Indiana did make some requirements on new Medicaid recipients. They were required to pay a small premium for the coverage. If the premium was not paid, they would be removed from the Medicaid rolls. Those who didn’t not pay for two consecutive months were locked out of the Medicaid system for a period of six months.
Since Indiana’s Medicaid expansion law has been in effect, 25,000 people have been dropped from the Medicaid program due to a failure to pay their premiums. Those who are under the poverty level don’t have their health coverage removed, but the Medicaid coverage for dental care and vision care are dropped.
Now, Indiana wants to place further restrictions on Medicaid recipients. The state wants to require all able-bodied Medicaid recipients to work or volunteer for at least 20 hours each week. Those who fail to meet these requirements will be dropped from Medicaid.
Anti-poverty advocates are upset about the existing and proposed rules. They feel that dropping someone from coverage will only lead to more emergency room use. They also feel that those dropped from coverage may experience poorer health as a result of loss of care
James William McDonald, who was better known as Bill or Dr. Bill, a Hardinsburg veterinarian passed away Monday January 2. As the news of his unexpected death traveled, the stories traveled too. In his 47 years, Bill impacted a lot of people, all of who have nothing but kind, caring words to share about their memories of him.
He was a veterinarian in the very small southern Indiana town and of course loved animals, including those in the area shelters and rescues. He never said no, if someone reached out, in need of help. The father of 3 would often bring his children along on weekend or evening calls to help an animal in need, teaching them not just how to care for the hurt or sick animal, but also showing them first hand how to help, to spread love however, where ever you can.
He gave his all to what he loved. Many who used him as their veterinarian shared stories of how he cared more about the animals than making money. He would cut prices, regardless of how expensive a surgery or medicine may run; he never hesitated to charge less, if it meant helping an animal that otherwise would not be able to be helped. Often he would write off bills and charges for his services through the shelters and rescues, out of the goodness of his heart without ever asking or expecting anything in return.
The Carrier plant in Indianapolis laid off 215 of its employees Thursday in a cost-cutting move. The Indiana-based heating and air-conditioning plant’s latest round of lay-offs comes after already sending 600 jobs from the Indianapolis plant to Carrier’s facilities in Monterrey Mexico this past year.
The job cuts come one year after a highly publicized visit by then president-elect Donald Trump claiming to have negotiated a deal between Carrier’s parent company United Technologies, and the state of Indiana to save the plant from closing. The deal included 7 million dollars in tax incentives for the company to remain in business in Indiana.
Addressing a crowd of supporters and employees at the Carrier plant last December Trump promised, “Companies are not going to be leaving the United States any more without consequences. Not going to happen.” The President even made the claim of adding jobs to the plant, “And by the way, that number is going to go up substantially as they expand this area, this plant. So the 1,100 is going to be a minimum number”.
Trump’s speech at Carrier plant in Indianapolis Indiana December 2016
Last November the Rexnord Corporation, members of the same labor union as Carrier, closed down its nearby Indianapolis plant costing 300 workers their jobs. This year United Technologies also has plans to close their UTEC facility in Huntington Indiana, costing the state another 700 jobs. Around 60 former Carrier employees have enrolled in a company sponsored educational reimbursement program to earn a academic degree.