INDIANAPOLIS | Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence believes Indiana should not establish a state-managed health insurance marketplace and must oppose every attempt to implement the "deeply flawed" Obamacare law.
In a letter sent Tuesday to Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels, Pence said uncertainty over whether Obamacare will be repealed by a future Congress and a lack of details on how the insurance marketplaces -- known as exchanges -- will operate, means the state should not spend money creating its own exchange.
"Indiana needs the freedom and flexibility to develop health care solutions that best meet the needs of our citizens, without interference from Washington," Pence said.
Under federal law, states that do not establish their own exchange will have a state exchange created and managed for them by the federal government.
Daniels reached out to the three candidates for governor earlier this month for their advice on whether the exchange he established by executive order for planning purposes in 2011 should be certified as the state's official health insurance marketplace.
Indiana must inform the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service of its health exchange decision by Nov. 16, which is after a new governor is elected Nov. 6 but before he takes office. Daniels' second and final term ends in January.
A spokesman for John Gregg said the Democratic candidate for governor is set to meet with Daniels in the coming weeks and will address the issue of health exchanges following that meeting. Libertarian Rupert Boneham plans to announce his position on Friday.
Under Obamacare, all Americans are required to have health insurance starting in 2014. A health insurance exchange is intended to help people buy insurance by clearly showing what health services are covered by different health plans and what price an individual will pay for that coverage.
Pence, who voted against Obamacare as a member of the U.S. House, said in his letter that Indiana would be better off if Obamacare were repealed in full.
"It erodes the freedom of every American, opening the door for the federal government to legislate, regulate and mandate nearly every aspect of our daily lives," Pence said.