“This was a great day for Indiana agriculture,” said Indiana Farm Bureau President Randy Kron after INFB’s health care benefits plan bill sailed through the Indiana House on Tuesday with a 93-2 vote.
9 different House Representatives, Republican and Democrat alike, stepped up to the mic prior to the vote to express their support for the bill and tell stories they heard from their constituents about the necessity of this bill. Kron credits that to the strong grassroots movement at the statehouse this year.
One of those that stood in support was Democrat Melanie Wright from Yorktown who heard this story from a prominent farmer in her district.
“He just sent this to me last week. He said, ‘I paid $10,234.50 in insurance premiums. That’s no office visits covered, no prescription coverage, no dental. It’s just outpatient with a $5,000 deductible.’ So, I think this clearly covers a loophole that the people are being left out of. I’m so, so incredibly happy to get up here and speak on behalf of this bill.”
The bill initially passed the Indiana Senate in overwhelming fashion with a 49-0 vote. Now, the bill needs to go back to the Senate for another vote after some minor amendments were made in the House. Kron says INFB nor Republican Senator Ed Charbonneau, who authored the bill, have issues with those amendments and it should sail through, again, either today or tomorrow. The bill then is off to Governor Holcomb for his signature. Kron doesn’t anticipate any issues there either.
“I have talked to him numerous times about it. So, he’s fully aware of it and (so is) the Lieutenant Governor… they’ve been helpful. If you remember back to our state convention in French Lick, the governor even mentioned that our agendas align very closely. I’m not going to say that was an endorsement, but that’s probably as close as you can get to an endorsement on a lot of these issues.”
Kron couldn’t give enough credit to Farm Bureau staff and members for their work to get this bill through.
“A 49-0 vote and a 93-2 vote. That sounds like, ‘Well, that was a cakewalk. Pretty easy,’ but what you don’t realize is how much work went in to get to there. It’s taken a lot, and I just say ‘thank you’ to everybody for your effort.
The goal is to have plans ready to be sold later this year that could begin on January 1st, 2021. We’ll have more with Kron later this week on what the plans might look like, knowing that details are a bit scarce right now.
You will not need to be a farmer to take advantage of the health benefits package. All Indiana Farm Bureau members will be able to participate. You can learn more about Indiana Farm Bureau membership and other benefits here.
You can see HAT’s previous coverage of the health benefits legislation below.