Committee Makes Recommendations To Address High Health Care Costs

Nov 1, 2019

Indiana lawmakers on an interim study committee on public health made a series of recommendations as they wrapped up their work this week. The issues could come up next legislative session.

The committee tackled topics that included pharmacy benefit managers and adoption subsidies. But committee chair, Rep. Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso), says it was testimony about Indiana’s high health care prices that really hit home.

"The one statement that sticks in my mind is ABI," says Charbonneau. "Anywhere but Indiana."

That was what one industry leader said about why they wouldn’t be bringing business to Indiana. Recommendations to address high costs include an end to surprise billing and creating a claims database.

Another recommendation from lawmakers is to increase the age to buy cigarettes and vaping products to 21. This issue has failed in the past, in part because of concern about the lost revenue and Sen. Vaneta Becker (R-Evansville) says that’s wrong.

"We don’t look at what happens if we don’t," says Becker. "And the ultimate cost is much higher for the state."

Charbonneau says the group explored a lot of complicated information about why Hoosiers pay so much for health care.

"I think we can all agree, the system is broken, it’s broken at the federal level and at the state level," says Charbonneau. 

The committee also suggests creating a strategic plan to reduce overall health care costs to Hoosiers.

Contact Jill at jsheridan@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @JillASheridan.