INDIANAPOLIS—On Thursday, Senate Bill 4 advanced out of the Senate with a vote of 41-7. State Senator Eddie Melton (D-Gary), a co-author of the bill, released the following statement:

“Indiana’s health rankings and outcomes are some of the worst in the nation. In both childhood immunizations and overall health, we’re ranked 41st in the country. We have the 45th highest rate of tobacco use. Maternal and infant mortality are 6th and 9th in the nation respectively. Of our 92 counties, 88 spend less than the national average on public health.

“It is critical for the health of our residents and our state that we work to improve public health in Indiana. My own district is currently struggling with healthcare challenges, and this Legislature has a duty to help tackle those challenges across the state. That’s why I was happy to support SB 4 as a co-author, and I’m thankful that we were able to get it passed out of the Senate. This bill aims to comprehensively enhance healthcare in our state and ensure access to more residents, which will have massive benefits for our most vulnerable residents. I will continue supporting this proposal along with other efforts to provide all Indiana residents with health care access, coverage and support.”