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Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels Offers Plan for Avoiding Health Care 'Train Wreck'

3 years ago
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Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels has offered the Obama administration a list of substantial changes as conditions for his state's participation in carrying out the new health care law. Short of such a compromise, he predicted a "train wreck" where governors would "rather be spectators than conductors."

Writing for the op-ed page of the Wall Street Journal, Daniels said Monday that governors "have no choice but to prepare for the very real possibility that the law takes effect [in full] in 2014." In anticipation, he offered the outline of a deal, one that would likely need congressional approval and the support of President Obama.

Daniels, who headed the Office of Management and Budget under former President George W. Bush, prefers flat-out repeal of the health care law. But a Republican effort to do that recently fell short in the Senate, while the legal battle to overturn it in federal court is raging in several pending cases. But should the law stand, Daniels said he would be willing to help with its implementation "if the federal government is willing to reroute the train to a different, more productive track."

To that end, the Indiana Republican laid out some "conditions" for participation -- and they are big ones:

-- The law's "expensive benefit mandates" should be waived "so that our citizens aren't forced to buy benefits that they don't need." He didn't specify which "mandates";

-- States must be given the freedom to move Medicaid beneficiaries into new health care exchanges or find some other alternative to "herding hundreds of thousands more people into today's broken Medicaid system";

-- Governors must be given the flexibility to decide which insurance companies are allowed to offer coverage in their states, and provisions in the law that discriminate against consumer-driven plans, such as health savings accounts, should be waived;

-- States should be reimbursed for the "true, full cost of the administrative burden to be imposed" by the law, and that amount should be estimated by an independent auditor, not the federal Department of Health and Human Services.

Daniels, a two-term Midwestern governor who is weighing a campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, said the law as written is a "massive mistake" that will add trillions of dollars to the federal deficit and lead to a "de facto government takeover of health care, faster than most people realize."

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11 Comments

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efleishman

EVEN THE MOST CONSERVATIVE BLOGGER HAS TO WONDER AT THE IDIOCY OF THIS GOVERNOR.
YEAH! GIVE THE GOVERNORS THE PRIVILEGE OF CHOOSING THE INSURANCE COMPANIES.
MAY AS WELL RESURRECT BERNIE MADOFF. I WONDER WHO PLANTED THAT IDEA IN MITCH DANIEL'S HEAD? AND I'LL BET THAT THE RIGHT WING WILL SAY HE'S A GENIUS.

February 08 2011 at 10:46 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
joe

I am still waiting for some input from the doctors that will have to make the healthcare plan work. I am not talking about the AMA because the AMA does not represent the majority of doctors. All of the talks about mandates and rules and regulations are moot if the doctors retire or leave the medical practice for other medicine related fields. Most of what I have read shows that the doctors are mostly against the government run healthcare plan.

February 08 2011 at 6:55 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to joe's comment
Charlie

The biggest problem with your claim is "government run healthcare plan." Please read carefully: The new law... DOES NOT HAVE... GOVERNMENT... RUNNING... HEALTH CARE!

February 09 2011 at 9:15 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
TedlyW

I would have to respectfully say to Gov. Daniels that he is so far off base in this approach. That is, he and his fellow governors are ready to concede defeat on the repeal of the health bill, already begging for a consolation prize before even game one of the series has been played out. This is a losing strategy. Mr. Obama is, I expect, smiling with glee at such an early concession and display of weak will. The governor did not have to do this. The health law was just ruled unconstitutional in Federal court because the mandate was found both unconstitutional and nonseverable. The referee ruled and has not been overruled. An administration moving forward to implement the bill is doing so in defiance of the Constitution. The governors should be on the offense, not implicitly accepting defeat by bargaining around the edges of the law. Gov. Daniels is not showing the principled determination needed in the Presidency.

February 08 2011 at 6:53 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to TedlyW's comment
nokabosh

One reason insurance comapnies can't now compete in more than a few states is that state like CA requires policies to cover phyche counseling, acupuncture, gender changes, breast implants, fertilization treatments, birth delivery, etc. (maybe not this extream but you get the picture). An 88 year old couple in CA wouldn't want or need that stuff. The State governor ought not to be able to pick who can compete in their state. There needs to be a range of standard policies (by age/risk) that insurance companies from all over the US can compete for within any state.

February 08 2011 at 5:27 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
g4advertising

To pretend that this Health Care Law would somehow lower costs or deficit is just insane. Medicade costs are shared on a 50/50 basis with the federal govt.
With all but 2 or 3 states in deficit where is the states half of the money for doubling or tripling the number of recipients going to come from. States can't print money. Even more ludicrous is where and who are the Dr.s that are going to treat these patients.

February 08 2011 at 5:12 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to g4advertising's comment
Charlie

The Health Care Law is not only paid for in the law itself, mostly by eliminating over payments in Medicaid, but WILL reduce the deficit according to non-partisan studies... though not to as great an extent as some supporters have claimed. I suggest reading "Landmark" a book about the new Health Care Law by collaborating analysts on both sides.

February 09 2011 at 9:23 AM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
tistolaugh

States are wisely running away from the looming Obama healthcare quagmire which is becoming clearer will cost in the trillions and which employees will be expected to pick up much of the cost for. You know, because everyone is doing so well financially right now.

February 08 2011 at 3:00 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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