On the table is an expected $10.5 billion in federal aid for the state in the next seven years. But expanding HIP could also cost the state close to $2 billion over that same period.
Pence asked House Republicans to hold off on a similar measure last week, saying he wanted more time for the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to sign off on the HIP expansion. House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, said Tuesday that Pence likes the Senate's request for block grants.
"At least the leadership is all in favor of not using Medicaid expansion as the vehicle here because of the potential for massive cost in the future," Bosma said.
Seven Democratic senators voted with all of the chamber's Republicans Tuesday for the expansion, despite reservations about using HIP.
"We don't agree with the bill the way it was written, but we want to make sure it remains alive," said Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Portage.
Tallian asked lawmakers to approve a temporary expansion of Medicaid, for two years, similar to what Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, is supporting. But her amendment and similar efforts in the House failed this week.
The Senate bill now moves to the House for consideration as lawmakers hit the halfway point of their four-month session.