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Pence names human services chief, ag director

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 17, 2013 at 11:04 pm •  Published: January 17, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Gov. Mike Pence on Thursday named an attorney with health care regulatory experience to run Indiana's human services agency as it prepares for an expected wave of new Medicaid recipients.

Pence tapped Debra Minott to be secretary of the Family and Social Services Administration, which administers Medicaid, food stamps and other benefits and services to seniors, children, people with disabilities and those who are mentally ill.

"I've said many times over the years that the best welfare program is a good-paying job," Pence said. "But our administration is equally committed to make sure that Hoosiers compassionately provide the assistance and services that struggling Hoosiers need as they strive to find work and get ahead through difficult times."

Republican House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Tim Brown said this week the cost of the state's current Medicaid program was projected to grow by between 11 percent and 17 percent over the next two years because of the new federal health insurance individual mandate.

Pence said Minott's work in the private sector and as former Gov. Mitch Daniels' first personnel director qualified her for one of the state's highest-profile and most-demanding jobs.

The Carmel resident has been vice president and associate general counsel for Batesville medical device Hill-Rom, where her duties included managing health care regulatory matters. She's also a former senior counsel at Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co.

David Sklar, president of the Indiana Coalition of Human Services, said he knew little about Minott's background but said members of the coalition of advocacy groups were looking forward to working with her.

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