Daniels blasts House health bill

November 5, 2009

Hey, tell us what you really think, Mitch.

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels ripped the House health care reform bill in a letter yesterday to Indiana’s congressional delegation, saying the bill “flunks the common sense test in any Hoosier coffee shop” and would yield “truly awful consequences for Indiana.”

Daniels, who has been critical of earlier versions of health care reform considered in Congress this year, said the massive bill introduced last week by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is “the worst version yet.”

Among Daniels’ specific complaints:

- The bill would force Indiana taxpayers in the next few years to spend at least $1.4 billion more on Medicaid by requiring states to expand coverage to Hoosiers earning up to 150 percent of the federal poverty limit. Right now, the Indiana Medicaid program, which is financed by federal and state taxes, uses an income limit equal to the poverty line to cap enrollment in its main assistance programs.

- The legislation would force the Healthy Indiana Plan, which has enrolled 50,000 Hoosiers since it started the process two years ago, to shut down.

- The bill relies on fees on small businesses that don’t offer insurance, as well as new taxes on health insurers, drugmakers and medical device manufacturers. Because of these taxes, Daniels wrote, the bill would be “a job-killer.”

- Also because of the new taxes, Daniels asserted, the legislation would cause Hoosiers who currently have insurance to pay much higher premiums, perhaps forcing many out of their current plans.

“The notion that enormous new taxes can have any effect other than to raise costs flunks the common sense test in any Hoosier coffee shop,” Daniels wrote.

A copy of Daniels’ letter, addressed to Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Indiana, can be read here.


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