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Candidate Gregg 'leaning' to hybrid health exchange

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Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Gregg would likely support a hybrid health insurance exchange for Hoosiers if elected in November and said Monday that proposals to do nothing are an abdication of responsibility that places Hoosiers "at the mercy" of the federal government.

The flexibility of state control and the financial aid available from the federal government "is something that merits us looking at it and is something that we think is the way, at this point in time, to go," Gregg said Monday.

Gregg and running mate Vi Simpson met Monday morning with Gov. Mitch Daniels to discuss an exchange. Daniels has until Nov. 16 to tell the federal government which type of exchange the state will pick and has asked the three gubernatorial candidates to advise him.

The pending decisions were set in place after the Supreme Court found the requirement that individuals purchase healthcare to be constitutional. That decision cleared the path for state leaders to decide how they would implement the exchanges that would be used to sell insurance.

Gregg's position echoes recommendations made by Libertarian candidate Rupert Boneham last week. Both Gregg and Boneham have criticized Republican Mike Pence for proposing the state do nothing in response to the federal mandate.

"Not participating is not an option, because if you take no action you're going to be left at the mercy of the federal government, because they will place you in their program without any protection, (without) any input from the state," Gregg said. "That means if we choose nothing, Hoosier citizens will pay the price. Like it or not, when you run for the office of governor, you have to govern, you have to lead, and this is one of those tough things."

A Pence campaign spokeswoman declined repeated request for comment about Gregg's remarks this week and Boneham's similar critiques last week. Instead Pence released a statement attacking the federal health care law.

In his letter to Daniels last week, Pence argued that there was enough "uncertainty" to justify not submitting a plan to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He cited the possible election of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney to be president, pending control of the U.S. House and Senate and questions about health care rules being written as reasons for not taking action now.

Pence's position is in line with many Republican governors who have flatly said they will not abide the law. The Obama administration has said that states that do not submit a plan will have their residents placed in the federal exchange.

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  1. Now if he'd just stay there...

  2. Daniel - what about the many US citizens who do NOT follow what the Bible teaches? The Hindus, Jews, Muslims and others who are all American citizens entitled to all rights as Americans?? This issue has NOTHING to do with "What the Bible says..." Keep all Churches separate from State! Pence's ongoing idiocy continues to make Indiana look like a backwards, homophobic state in the eyes of our nation. Can't we move on to bigger issues - like educating our kids?

  3. 1. IBJ should link to the referenced report. We are in the age of electronic media...not sharing information is lazy. Here is a link http://www.in.gov/gov/files/Blue_Ribbon_Panel_Report_July_9_2014.pdf 2. The article should provide more clarity about the make-up of this panel. The commenters are making this item out to be partisan, it does not appear the panel is partisan. Here is a list of the panel which appears to be balanced with different SME to add different perspectives http://www.in.gov/activecalendar/EventList.aspx?view=EventDetails&eventidn=138116?formation_id=189603 3. It suggests a by-pass, I do not see where this report suggests another "loop". 4. Henry, based on your kneejerk reaction, we would be better off if you moved to another state unless your post was meant as sarcasm in which case I say Well Done. 5. The article and report actually indicates need to improve rail and port infrastructure in direct contradiction to Shayla commentary. Specifically, recommendation is to consider passenger rail projects... 6. People have a voice with their elected officials. These are suggestions and do not represent "crony capitalism", etc. The report needs to be analyzed and the legislature can decide on priorities and spending. Don't like it, then vote in a new legislature but quit artificially creating issues where there are none! People need to sift through the politics and provide constructive criticism to the process rather than making uninformed comments in a public forum based on misinformation. IBJ should work harder to correct the record in these forums when blatant errors or misrepresentations are made.

  4. Joe ... Marriage is defined in the Bible ... it is mentioned in the Bible often. Marriage is not mentioned once in the US or Indiana Constitution ...

  5. Daniel - Educate me please: what does the Bible have to do with laws? If the government wasn't in the business of marriage to begin with, then it wouldn't have to "define" marriage at all. Marriage could be left as a personal, religious, or otherwise unregulated action, with no ties to taxes, legal status, etc. Then people could marry whomever they want, and all this silliness would go away. Remember to vote Libertarian in November.

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