Mitch Daniels and Health Care Reform and Health Care & Life Sciences

Daniels one of health law's loudest critics

March 31, 2010

Just about every Republican in the country has been critical of the health reform law since President Obama signed it last week. But Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels is fast on his way to becoming critic-in-chief.

Daniels blasted the new health law last week  in a speech in Indianapolis and in a column in The Wall Street Journal.

“Our federal overlords have ruled,” Daniels wrote in the Journal on March 26. “We better start adjusting to our new status as good Europeans.”

Three days earlier, Daniels told the Economic Club of Indiana that the federal health law would not reduce the federal deficit—as predicted by the Congressional Budget Office—but expand it, while at the same time adding huge new burdens to state governments.

"This is going to be an immorally—and I choose that word carefully—immorally huge burden we're about to place on our children,” he said, according to the Associated Press.

Indiana Democratic Party Chairman Dan Parker told the Associated Press that, because Daniels oversaw the beginning of the nation’s huge budget deficits during his two years as budget director for President George W. Bush, he should watch his words about huge spending.

"Given his atrocious record as OMB director under George W. Bush, which set this nation on a course for the deficit that we've had over the last 10 years, he's the last person who should be talking about debt," Parker said.

Daniels, however, pressed on. He encouraged Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller to join a lawsuit challenging part of the new law as unconstitutional. Zoeller, also a Republican, did join that 14-state lawsuit on Monday.

Daniels also offered a few alternative ideas to the new law. In the Journal, he wrote, “Congress could have done what Republicans should suggest now: Shift to a system that allows individuals—not businesses—to buy health insurance tax free. They could also create tax credits for buying health insurance based on income and health status to guarantee everyone coverage and encourage medical care and insurance competition.”

He also repeated standard Republican proposals: allow consumers to buy health insurance across state lines and place limits on medical malpractice lawsuits.

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