Daniels takes aim at health care
February 7th, 2011
09:36 AM ET
4 years ago

Daniels takes aim at health care

Washington (CNN) - Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, a potential presidential candidate, is taking to the pages of the Wall Street Journal Monday to zero in on the healthcare law, one of the signature fiscal issues that wrangle the GOP rank-and-file and Republican leaders alike.

Daniels, a favorite for president among some members of the GOP because of his no-nonsense style, economic credentials and record of cutting spending in Indiana, writes the new law is a "massive mistake" that could decimate state budgets.

"For state governments, the bill presents huge new costs, as we are required," writes Daniels, the former budget director under President Bush. "In Indiana, our independent actuaries have pegged the price to state taxpayers at $2.6 billion to $3 billion over the next 10 years. This is a huge burden for our state, and yet another incremental expenditure the law's authors declined to account for truthfully."

Daniels says he hopes courts will ultimately repeal the law, but added that absent a repeal states must be permitted certain concessions, like flexibility to determine which insurers can participate in the market and the ability to waive the mandate that requires some individuals to buy expensive benefits they may not need. Daniels also wants the states to be reimbursed for the "administrative burden" of implementing the plan. He says he has written a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to outline his requests.

"The system we are proposing requires Washington to abandon most of the command-and-control aspects of the law as written," Daniel's writes. "It steers away from nanny-state paternalism by assuming, recognizing and reinforcing the dignity of all our citizens and their right to make health care's highly personal decisions for themselves."

The op-ed is Daniel's latest foray on the national stage as he mulls a presidential bid. Later this week, the Indiana Republican will appear at the Conservative Political Action Conference, a high profile gathering of conservatives that has become a regular stop for potential presidential candidates.

But Daniels introduction to the national stage hasn't been without its speed bumps. Last week he again angered social conservatives when he suggested – for the second time – that issues like abortion and gay marriage should take a back seat this election season in favor of economic concerns. That prompted fire from fellow potential candidate Rick Santorum that Daniels "doesn't understand conservatism."


Filed under: 2012 • Mitch Daniels
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Dnick47

    Personally I cannot take any politician seriously about cutting cost until and when they begin with their own budget. When I see Congress cut their salaries, perks and staffe BEFORE they touch the citizens items like Social Security, then and only then will I take any of them seriously. They live like kings at the public's largess

    February 7, 2011 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  2. steven harnack

    The effect that it will have on state budgets is that politicians will demand higher salaries to make up for the insurance company bribes that they will have to give up.

    February 7, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  3. Clwyd

    Let's take Daniels and realize he is a conservative republican already bought by the lobbyists for big business, bug oil, big insurance and big Wall Street!

    February 7, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  4. Protect and Defend Freedom of Speech in the USA

    Obamacare will be a financial nightmare for EVERYBODY. If this country doesn't get out of the healthcare business bankruptcy for the federal government and the states is almost certain. This country simply cannot continue to live off the China credit card and way beyond its means.

    February 7, 2011 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  5. Marcus

    'This is a huge burden for our state, and yet another incremental expenditure the law's authors declined to account for truthfully.'
    Please Mr. 'I wanna be a POTUS no matter how much I have to lie to get it!', explain to us where the CBO and most of the still respectable economists in the US 'got it wrong' about the consequences of the ACA in the States' budgets.
    Talk is tooooooo easy.
    Prove it.

    February 7, 2011 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  6. lynn

    Check Indiana's economy lately? NW Indiana has become a disaster, crime, poverty and decay. And he says the Health Care Bill would drag down Indiana's economy, it's been a mess for 50 yrs.

    February 7, 2011 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  7. Sam

    First come up with an alternative and then talk! Cutting "budget" for any item is something anyone can do, but finding viable alternatives is something only a few can do!

    February 7, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  8. kyle from ohio

    And like always; No real answers on what is the option to change the current Health care cost ; As the State Buget was getting eat up by health care cost before the new law and if we do nothing will continue to eat up the state budget; So easy to say what is wrong with something. But very hard to say for sure what will work, just to say that want work is not good enought. Or at least it should not be enought, Where are the Jobs any way, remember!!!!!!!!!! The JOBS.

    February 7, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  9. Louisiana Man

    One big question for the good governor of Indiana and the rest of our outstanding, stalwarts of of public service, including our illustrious governor of LA-who has a child born with a pre-existing condition-

    Will you give up your government sponsored health care?
    Are you willing to beat the pavement Yourself and solicit queries from uninterested health insurance agencies to secure health care for you are your family at a reasonable price for reasonable benefits? Didn't think so!!

    H Y P O C R I T E S !!

    February 7, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  10. Fair is Fair

    "the new law is a "massive mistake" that could decimate state budgets."

    You can say that again. And indeed, that's it's intent – to usurp more and more power from the individual states via unfunded federal mandates in an effort to relegate the 10th amendment to the scrap heap of irrelevancy.

    That goes for BOTH so-called political parties. Gotta keep feeding the beast, huh?

    February 7, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  11. chris

    I love how the GOP wants to repeal the law, but as of yet have any of them come up with something in its place!! I would advise the American people to really think and listen to what each one them(GOPers) are saying in regards to repealing a law. They are basically saying lets go back to what we had ie..nothing!!! We all know they talk a good game in regards to saying repeal it and we will fix it, but that actually translate to "we will not touch this issue ever again".

    February 7, 2011 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  12. Git Whitey

    "...one of the signature fiscal issues that wrangle the GOP rank-and-file and Republican leaders alike."

    Wrangle? Really? Surely you meant to type "rankle."

    February 7, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  13. Adult44

    Mich D will NOT make a good president.. I live in Indiana and we are Suffering!!! Don't let him fool ya!! He like to sell out to foreign entities for very long periods of time..eons as a matter of fact. Most of the US is owned by foreigners as it is.

    February 7, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  14. JMR49

    The system we are proposing requires Washington to abandon most of the command-and-control aspects of the law as written," Daniel's writes.

    What system? WHAT SYSTEM GOP? Can one of you GOP / TEABAG types describe your "system"? Anything at all?

    Thought so...

    February 7, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  15. Indiana taxpayer

    Americans better think twice before electing a clown like Daniels. He sold off our Indiana State Toll Road to a FOREIGN CORPORATION! Then he raised our property taxes to sky high levels, RAISED OUR SALES TAX TO ONE OF THE HIGHEST IN THE MIDWEST, then...he pushed a state law to expand taxation at the local level. How's that for GOP values. Some advice from a lifelong Hoosier and Republican...Take heed...This guy would be dangerous for America.

    February 7, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  16. kyle

    How long is the GOP going to hide behind repealing healthcare, let's see them create some jobs for passing taxs cuts for the rich.

    February 7, 2011 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  17. Rick McDaniel

    Daniels is the absolute front runner for me, at this time. Everything I hear from him, is SOUND thinking.

    February 7, 2011 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  18. Squigman

    Health care seems to be the new call to arms for politicians. Several questions always come to mind when politicians make such issues a mainstay to their election platform. No.1, What kind of health care do they have? No.2, What is the future cost of hospitalization for the uninsured? No.3, What are the alternatives to todays health care plan? And No.4, Based on concrete unbiased data showing future trend lines positive or negative, can a common ground be achieved taking into consideration the entire population of the nation, not just future profitability of mega drug companies? A nation that ignores the needs of the young, the poor and elderly will surely suffer in the future from a monitary standpoint, Many times cost defrayed to the future become larger and uncontrolable. and would be better addressed early in the process.

    February 7, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  19. Indiana taxpayer

    DANIELS ADVOCATES AN AMERICAN VAT TAX. For those of you who don't know what VAT is, its VALUE ADDED TAX. Just like the Europeans and Canadians have. Tax of 10%...20%, heck, the sky's the limit. Isn't that the antithesis of GOP values? Don't be a Euro pee on socialist. REJECT DANIELS!

    February 7, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  20. Russ

    If you're going to take aim at my health care them you damn well better give up your government run health care you hypocrite!!

    February 7, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  21. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I was not aware that Indiana used independent actuaries. More political drivel from a Bush lackey.

    February 7, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  22. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    In other republican governor news, one term republican Florida governor Rick Scott is cutting the state budget by $5 billion on the backs of workers' pensions. We think it is an attempt to create 700,000 entry level jobs at Mc Donald's, Burger King and Taco Bell.

    February 7, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  23. Lynda/Minnesota

    Poor, Daniels . . . a Bush man wanting to continue the Bush legacy . . . won't be going too far, one way or the other. In fact, guy resembles McCain in thoughts and deeds: say what they THINK the other side wants them to say without any real convictions of their own.

    February 7, 2011 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  24. Mom concerned for the future

    The GOP's continued focus on healthcare repeal is stupid and is going to hurt them in the long run. The GOP has spread so much misinformation about healthcare reform that they managed to confuse a lot of Americans and make them forget what an important issue healthcare reform is for all of us. However, over time more and more Americans are seeing past the misinformation and realizing that we DO need to address our failing healthcare system and that the current healthcare reform law is great first step. Our family's healthcare went up $385 a month compared to what it was last year. My brother's family's healthcare also went up substantially. This has been a pattern, with our family's healthcare bill increasing year after year. We struggle to afford our healthcare as does my brother's family. At some point many American's are not going to be able to afford their healthcare any longer. At the same time, I read in the newspaper over and over again that my Health Insurance company's profits have risen yet again and the executives will be receiving ridiculous bonuses in the millions of dollars. They are not raising our costs because they are losing money, they are raising our costs because they are greedy. Healthcare reform will require insurance companies to spend at least 80 to 85 cents of every dollar they receive providing HEALTHCARE to consumers instead of bonuses to their overly paid executives. Americans are starting to wake up and see through the GOP and health care lobbyist propoganda and realize that healthcare reform is good and necessary.

    February 7, 2011 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  25. lil

    For the life of me I just cannot understand why these old rich men dont want poor sick people to be able to buy cheap affordable heath care or why they should spend time on this when whole families are homeless. Children are going hungry and all they can think and talk about is how they hate the health care bill. What does the health care bill have to do with feeding the hungry and taking care of the sick and poor. Its all about their as O'Reily put hate for Obama. Come on people this whole nothing for the poor and all for the rick has gotten OLD. Get up
    off of your buts and find some jobs for the American poor so we can go back to work. Think, really think about the American people as you like to call us.Stop sending jobs over seas and put us back to work. Stop taking everything away and telling us what we do and donot need we know whats best for us. We want affordable health care for our families and a job to pay for it and if our newly elected republican congress don't give us what we need in less than 2 years we will vote them out and that's a promise.

    February 7, 2011 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
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