Daniels seeks health choices advice from potential successors

2012-08-02T19:47:00Z 2012-08-02T19:58:07Z Daniels seeks health choices advice from potential successorsBy Dan Carden dan.carden@nwi.com, (317) 637-9078 nwitimes.com
August 02, 2012 7:47 pm  • 

INDIANAPOLIS | The three candidates for governor have been asked by the state's current chief executive to help him decide how Indiana should implement portions of the 2010 health care law often called Obamacare.

Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels on Thursday sent a letter to Libertarian Rupert Boneham, Democrat John Gregg and Republican Mike Pence seeking their advice on policy choices Daniels must submit to the federal government before he leaves office in January but won't take effect under his watch.

"Because the costs and consequences of our decision ... will be borne by the next administration, I do not believe it would be right for me to make these choices," Daniels said.

Most pressing is a Sept. 30 deadline to set Indiana's "Essential Health Benefits," the list of health services that Indiana's Medicaid program will provide for low-income Hoosiers and must be included in health plans sold through the state's insurance marketplace starting in 2014.

Indiana also must decide by Nov. 16 whether the state will administer a health insurance marketplace, known as an exchange, or whether the federal government will run it.

Daniels said Indiana can wait until 2013 to decide whether the state should expand Medicaid to cover more low-income families. The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled states cannot be punished for ignoring that requirement of the health law.

Spokespersons for Boneham, Gregg and Pence each said the candidates will work with Daniels on the health policy issues, though Pence said he believes Obamacare "must be repealed."

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